Kin recognition or the environment: what affects bees in the selection of larvae for breeding queens?

Funding code:  
Involved employees: S. Al Kathani, Prof. Dr. K. Bienefeld
Co-operation partners:  
Duration: 2004 -2010
Financing: König Faisal Universität, Saudi-Arabien / F. Schaumann Stiftung

In this project, the differences in the acceptance of bee larvae of different lineages often observed in practice for the breeding of queens is to be examined. Previously, it was only examined whether or not nurse bees recognised kin amongst larvae, which would then lead to the preferential rearing of closely related larvae (nepotism).In addition to the relationship between larvae and nurse bees, this project mainly seeks to understand the influence of differing prenatal maternal care on the selection of potential queens.


  • Al-Kahtani, S.; Bienefeld, K. (2006) Variability of egg weight of honeybee queens. Apidologie 37(5), 622 - 623
  • Al-Kahtani, S.; Bienefeld, K. (2012) The Nasonov Gland Pheromone is involved in recruiting honeybee workers for individual larvae to be reared as queens Journal of Insect Behavior 25(4), 392-400
  • Al-Kahtani, S.; Wegener, J.; Bienefeld, K. (2013) Variability of prenatal maternal investment in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) Journal of Entomology 10(1), 35-42