Stimulating natural supersedure of honeybee queens, Apis mellifera

H.P. Hendriksma, J.N.M. Calis, W.J. Boot

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic


When a honeybee queen starts to fail, she is often superseded by a young queen that takes over reproduction inside the colony. Natural supersedure in winter leads to an unfertilised young queen and colony loss. To reduce these losses we tried to stimulate supersedure of queens earlier in the season. In 50 colonies we introduced queen cells with one-day-old larvae and capped queen cells. Although many larvae were fed initially, few of them were reared to mature queens and none of the cases resulted in supersedure. This suggests that supersedure cannot be evoked by artificially bypassing the initial phases of the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-33
JournalProceedings of the Netherlands Entomological Society meeting
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • apis mellifera
  • queen honey bees
  • supersedure
  • queen cells
  • queen rearing


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