Impacts of inbreeding on bumblebee colony fitness under field conditions

  • Published source details Whitehorn P.R., Tinsley M.C., Brown M.J.F., Darvill B. & Goulson D. (2009) Impacts of inbreeding on bumblebee colony fitness under field conditions. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 9, 152.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reintroduce laboratory-reared bumblebee colonies to the wild

Action Link
Bee Conservation

Rear declining bumblebees in captivity

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Reintroduce laboratory-reared bumblebee colonies to the wild

    Whitehorn et al. (2009) placed 36 laboratory-reared colonies of B. terrestris (non-native subspecies, probably terrestris or dalmatinus)in field conditions at the University of Stirling, Scotland, from when they had 15 workers until the founding queen died. The experiment included inbred colonies and colonies with diploid males. Normal colonies (no diploid males) produced a total of 30-31 workers on average, but no new queens. Sixteen outbred colonies survived for an average of 4.5 weeks, but did not produce new queens.

  2. Rear declining bumblebees in captivity

    Whitehorn et al. (2009) reared colonies of B. terrestris from 210 commercially-reared queens by confining queens alone, under standard rearing conditions, following artificial hibernation for 47 days at 6°C. Ninety-three queens (44%) survived artificial hibernation and 47 of them (51% of those surviving hibernation) founded colonies with at least one offspring.

Output references
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