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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Artificial hibernation of buff-tailed bumblebee queens Bombus terrestris for 45 days produces highest egg-laying and colony formation rates in laboratory experiments at the University of Akdeniz, Antalya, Turkey

Published source details

Gosterit A. & Gurel F. (2009) Effect of different diapause regimes on survival and colony development in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World, 48, 279-283


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Rear declining bumblebees in captivity Bee Conservation

Gurel & Gosterit (2009) reared 50 wild-caught B. terrestris dalmatinus over two generations in the laboratory. Queens were anaesthetized with CO2, then confined with B. terrestris workers to induce colony formation. They found second-generation queens produced around 60% more workers (average 121 workers/colony, compared to 72 workers/colony in the first generation), significantly more males (average 71 males/colony, compared to 30 for first-generation colonies) and completed the colony cycle significantly more quickly than first-generation colonies.

Rear declining bumblebees in captivity Bee Conservation

In another replicated controlled laboratory experiment, Gosterit & Gurel (2009) found that hibernating B. terrestris queens at 4-5°C for 45 days followed by anaesthetizing with CO2 for 30 minutes produced the highest egg-laying and colony formation rates, compared to non-hibernated queens, or those hibernated for 75 or 105 days. However, non-hibernated queens (also anaesthetized) ultimately produced larger colonies, with more workers and more new queens and males. These experiments used 148 mated, laboratory reared queens, with 30-40 queens in each treatment group.