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


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').

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Project Completion Date

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Safeguarding Australia

National Priority


National Priority

HBE-Improve understanding of nutrition best practice and disease interaction


Related publications


Interspecific matings between Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. Does it happen and what does it mean for the industry?