We model the resonant excitation transfer between semiconductor quantum dots, accounting for the radiative nature of the electromagnetic field. The model based on Maxwell equations and on a non-local, and for linear susceptibility accounts both for the instantaneous dipole-dipole coupling, decaying as R-3 retardation effects, decaying as R-1. The coupling is strongly resonant and its spatial range is of the order of the wavelength, due to the radiative nature of the retarded contribution. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.