A new method for rearing genetically manipulated honey bee workers

Anne Lene T.O. Aase, Gro V. Amdam, Arne Hagen, Stig W. Omholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Advanced functional genomic research on the honey bee (Apis mellifera) will require methods that allow researchers to work with bees derived from genetically manipulated embryos. In vitro rearing of honey bees is laborious, and it is often difficult to obtain individuals that span a normal phenotypic range. We present a technique that allows manipulated honey bee eggs to be introduced into hives so the larvae can be reared in a colony setting. Newly laid eggs on removable cell bases were injected with nuclease free H 2O, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), or left untreated. They were inserted into specially designed hives where they hatched. Colonies accepted a satisfactory proportion of eggs from all treatment groups (28-53%). Further, a set of physiological and morphological traits (i.e., total protein in the hemolymph, head width, antennal length, and the length of a compound vein) were compared between workers derived from untreated, incubated eggs, and bees that naturally emerged in the hives. No significant differences were found between the groups. Our method therefore overcomes the challenges associated with in vitro rearing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Apis mellifera
  • Functional genomic research
  • Laboratory hive
  • Rearing protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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