The effects of different stimulation methods on colony development of Bombus terrestris queens were examined to increase rearing efficiency and reduce production costs. A total of 350 hibernated queens obtained from a commercial company were used. Each queen was placed separately in the starting box and four starting methods were tested: only the queen (q), one queen stimulated with one B. terrestris worker (qtw), one honeybee worker (qhw), and one B. terrestris pupa (qtp). There were significant differences among the treatments in terms of egg laying, colony production and saleable production ratio, the colony initiation time, the time of the emergence of the first worker, the number of egg cells in the first brood. Starting methods had no significant effect on the other colony characteristics. The highest egg laying ratio, colony production ratio and saleable colony production ratio were found in the qtw group (82.8, 53.3, 39.0%) followed by qtp (72.8, 42.8, 28.5%), qhw (57.1, 28.6, 16.2%) and q (35.7, 17.1, 14.3%) groups, respectively. The queens with qtw treatment developed more egg cells (4.39 +/- 0.21) in the first brood and started egg laying (11.75 +/- 0.83 days) earlier than in the other treatments. The results showed that adding a B. terrestris worker is the best starting method for the mass rearing of B. terrestris. Qtp treatment was found to be the second most successful starting method.