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Availability of Sugar Solutions for Colony Development and Progeny-Queen Production of the European Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

  • Yoon, Hyung-Joo (Applied Entomology Division, Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Lee, Kyeong-Yong (Applied Entomology Division, Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Kim, Mi-Ae (Applied Entomology Division, Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Han, Sang-Mi (Applied Entomology Division, Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Ahn, Mi-Young (Applied Entomology Division, Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Park, In-Gyun (Applied Entomology Division, Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science)
  • Received : 2012.02.18
  • Accepted : 2012.03.10
  • Published : 2012.03.31

Abstract

Bumblebees are widely used to pollinate various crops, especially tomato, in greenhouses and fields. Here, we investigated whether different sugar solutions have any effects on the oviposition and colony development of Bombus terrestris queens. The types of sugar solution used were a white sugar solution, brown sugar solution, dark brown sugar solution, and prepared sugar solution; all solution contained with a 40% sugar concentration and 0.3% sorbic acid. Among these sugar solutions, B. terrestris queens reared on the white sugar solution exhibited the best results; the rates of oviposition, colony foundation and progeny-queen production were $75.0{\pm}11.0$, $33.0{\pm}9.6$ and $21.7{\pm}7.3$, respectively, which corresponded to 1.1-33.0-fold increases over the results of other sugar solutions. Queens reared on the prepared sugar solution did not found any colonies. The death rate within one month was lowest for the queens reared on the white sugar solution at $26.1{\pm}10.9%$, which was 1.2-2.0-fold lower than the rate for the other sugar solutions. Furthermore, the numbers of progeny produced by queens reared on the white sugar solution, $131.4{\pm}38.8$ workers and $51.0{\pm}40.6$ queens, were also higher, corresponding to 1.1-1.2-fold increases compared to queens raised on the other sugar solutions. Therefore, the white sugar solution was the favorable sugar solution for the egg-laying and colony developmental characteristics of B. terrestris queens.

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