Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2004
Publication Date: May 1, 2004
Citation: Gregory, P.G., Rinderer, T.E., Harbo, J.R. 2004. Paternity of offspring from honey bee queens re-inseminated after producing worker brood [abstract]. American Bee Journal. 144(5(:404 Technical Abstract: Being able to re-inseminate honey bee queens could be a valuable breeding tool. It may increase the length of a queen's reproductive period and maintain a queen's fecundity. It could be used to increase genetic variation after inbreeding or produce an inbred line by re-inseminating a queen with her drones. Honey bee queens from various sources were inseminated with one drone and then re-inseminated 3-8 months later with a second drone. The genotypes of the queen and drones were determined at one polymorphic microsatellite loci. Purple-eyed pupa or older workers that were fertilized 1, 3, or 12 weeks after the second insemination were collected from brood cells and genotyped. This study demonstrated for the first time that honey bee queens can be re-inseminated and can produce offspring sired by a second insemination. By week 3, 5% of the offspring were fathered by the second drone and by week 12, the percentage had increased to 38%. Re-inseminating queens shows great promise as a valuable breeding tool, and it may reveal information about sperm utilization by queen bees.