Diapause survival and post-diapause performance in bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris)

  • Published source details Beekman M., van Stratum P. & Lingeman R. (1998) Diapause survival and post-diapause performance in bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris). Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 89, 207-214.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Rear declining bumblebees in captivity

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Rear declining bumblebees in captivity

    Beekman et al. (1998) tested the effects of different artificial hibernation regimes (temperatures from -5 to 15°C, durations from 1 to 8 months) on 2,210 queen B. terrestris from laboratory-reared colonies in the Netherlands. A queen's initial weight and the duration of hibernation strongly affected survival, but the temperature did not. Queens should weigh more than 0.6 g (wet weight) and be hibernated for four months or less to have a good chance of surviving. Queens weighing less than 0.6 g before hibernation did not survive, but above this threshold, initial weight did not affect survival. Few queens survived hibernation periods of 6 and 8 months (8.5%, compared to 83% of queens hibernated for one, two and four months). Neither temperature, weight nor length of hibernation affected a queen's ability to lay eggs after surviving hibernation.

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