The study evaluates the Sommerford method to stimulate queen bee rearing in a queenless bee colony between August 2008 and March 2009 and repeated between August 2009 and March 2010. The study was conducted in Kenya top-bar hives placed at two locations in Ogun State, Nigeria. The first location was at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and the second was Olupakun village, Ogun State. There were two treatments; the first was the parent hives from where four top-bars with queen bee, brood cells, some worker bees, and drones were removed and replaced with four empty top bars. The second treatment was uncolonized hives (nuclei) that received the top bars with queen bee, brood cells, some worker bees and drones. The control was colonized and undisturbed Kenya top-bar hives. The treatment and control hives were replicated four times and arranged using completely randomized design, with each hive placed at a distance of 50 m apart. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance and significant means were separated using least significant difference. The honey yield, weight of dried pressed comb, number of combs with brood cells and total number of combs were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in 2010. Likewise, the honey yield, weight of dried pressed comb, number of ripe harvested honey combs, number of combs with brood cells and total number of combs were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in Olupakun village. Bee colonies were established in the parent and nuclei hives. A significantly (P < 0.05) higher honey yield, propolis yield, weight of dried pressed comb, number of ripe harvested combs and number of combs with brood cells was obtained in the control hives. The study shows that the Sommerford method could be used to stimulate worker bees in a queenless colony to rear a queen bee.
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Vol. 20 • No. 2