Workers of Apis cerana reproduce during short periods of queenlessness.

W.J. Boot, J. van der Blom, J. Beetsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


In six colonies of Apis cerana the queen was removed and occurrence of egg-laying by workers was studied. Three colonies had brood of all stages and were thus allowed to build emergency queen cells and to rear queens. In three other colonies no young brood to build emergency queen cells was left (hopelessly queenless), but older brood was present. Workers started laying within two to three days after removal of the queen, both in the colonies rearing queens and in the hopelessly queenless colonies. Four to five days after removal of the queen mass egg-laying by workers occurred in five of the six colonies. These eggs partly developed into capped drone brood. Thus, A. cerana workers may produce a substantial number of drones during short periods of queenlessness, even when new queens are reared simultaneously.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
JournalEntomologische Berichten
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • honey bees
  • apidae
  • queen honey bees
  • worker honey bees
  • drone honey bees
  • breeds
  • environmental impact
  • animals
  • population density
  • population ecology
  • mortality
  • population growth


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