In order to produce such ‘custom design’ colonies, it will however be necessary to reliably reproduce suitable sperm mixes to inseminate the queens. Using individual drones to inseminate a queen will be insufficient. Another queen will be inseminated with a set of semen from different drones. Hence, no single colony will have identical fathers unlike classical animal breeding, where a single siring male can be mated to many females. The replication of the insemination is not possible, which dilutes any assessment of breeding values. Here, we use a new technique for mixing of semen from a very large pool comprising thousands of drones (Brauße and van Praagh 2010) to test if these can be homogeneously mixed and used for replicate inseminations.
Pieplow JT, Brauße J, van Praagh JP, Moritz RFA, Erler S (2017) A scientific note on using large mixed sperm samples in instrumental insemination of honeybee queens. Apidologie, (early online). DOI: 10.1007/s13592-017-0516-4