T2M Inter-specific matings between A. cerana and A. mellifera?

The University of Sydney

  • Project code: PRJ-007768

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

  • Project completion date: Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • National Priority: HBE-Improve understanding of nutrition best practice and disease interaction


We will quantify the threats to the industry associated with interspecific matings by the following experiments:
1) In Cairns we will perform reciprocal artificial inseminations of A. cerana and A. mellifera. We will study the eggs of the queens to determine if there is embryogenesis. We will allow some brood to emerge in an incubator to quantify the proportion of offspring that are haploid males, inviable hybrids and thelytokous females. We will use microsatellites to confirm the maternity and (lack of) paternity in the offspring.
2) In the Solomon Islands where there are extremely dense populations of the Java strain of A. cerana we will determine the drone flight time of the males of both species to see if there is overlap. If logistically feasible we will determine the location of DCAs of A. mellifera and A cerana. Finally, we will examine the offspring of A. mellifera queens that we allow to naturally mate with A. cerana males.


Honey Bee

Research Organisation

The University of Sydney

Objective Summary

– To determine if interspecific matings occur between the Java strain of A. cerana and A. mellifera.
– To determine the consequences of such matings on brood viability.
– To determine if interspecfic matings can induce thelytoky.
– To determine if there is overlap in the drone flight time between A. mellifera and the Java strain of A. cerana.
– To determine if A. cerana and A. mellifera drones can be caught in the same area, indicating overlap in their mating leks (sometimes known as ‘drone congregation areas’).