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A photomicrographic study of worker honeybee embryogenesis

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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 27 (2) pp. 69-83
June 1988
Article Title

A photomicrographic study of worker honeybee embryogenesis


Charles P. Milne Jr. John P. Phillips And Peter J. Krell


Developing honeybee (Apis mellifera) eggs taken from worker comb were photographed using phase-contrast microscopy to record embryogenesis through the 10 developmental stages. This photographic record can be used to place any developing embryo accurately in the appropriate stage and, with the exception of stage 4, in the proper division (early, middle, late) of that stage. A reference table summarizing the characteristic features of each stage is presented and can be used to assign embryos to a particular developmental stage. Sixty-three newly laid eggs in a comb required an average of 76.7 ± 2.1 h to hatch in a 35°C incubator, and 23 eggs under oil took an average of 77.6 ± 2.7 h. The difference in times for embryogenesis under the two sets of conditions was not significant, indicating that immersion in paraffin oil does not affect the rate of development. Duration of embryogenesis in this investigation was slightly longer than previously published estimates.


Embryogenesis, Eggs, Worker honey bees, photomicrographs, embryo development 

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