Male remating and its influences on queen colony foundation success in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

Gosterit A., GÜREL F.

APIDOLOGIE, vol.47, no.6, pp.828-834, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13592-016-0438-6
  • Journal Name: APIDOLOGIE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.828-834
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


In most bumblebee species, queens mate with only one male, but males can mate more than once. However, the effects of male remating on colony foundation success of queens remain poorly understood. To test for effects of male remating, we assigned Bombus terrestris queens randomly to one of two groups: virgin males or non-virgin males that have mated once before. When males were allowed to mate for a second time with virgin queens, 58.57 % successfully remated. There was no significant difference in queen hibernation survival between groups, but queens mated with non-virgin males were more successful in founding a colony, and produced more workers and males than queens mated with virgin males. The mean copulation duration for the second mating of males (48.02 +/- 14.36 min) was substantially longer than for the first mating (32.44 +/- 8.74 min). Results also showed that male weight influenced both male remating success and copulation duration.