Why 65 degrees?
I've read somewheres (a few places) that queen rearing mustn't be done unless the temps are 65 degrees. Why is that? I know that one must have mature drones a-wing to be successful. Is the 65 degree the temp at which a queen/ drones fly? Is it the daily high, daily low, or daily average?
As usual, someone was picking a number so it would sound "scientific". Is that 65 in the daytime? Nighttime? Are there drones flying? I think that drones and bees are flying is the real issue. And do you have enough resources (bees, brood etc.) to rear queens...
And another question. Is that 65 degrees one day? Every day? Every day for how many days? We get 65 degrees sometimes in January, but I won't rear queens then.
Is that when drones and bees are flying one day? Every day? Three days a week? How much resources is enough? One frame of pollen, two?
Originally Posted by Michael Bush
The questions are the same whether we're trying to sound 'scientific' or non-scientific. When someone without experience is asking for guidance we choose the best means we can dream up to help direct them. Its got nothing to do with sounding scientific, in my opinion.
speculating for sure here waya..
1)until you get to a fairly stable day time temperature of about 60 degrees you are likely to have insufficient drone population being reared to get the breeding accomplished properly. you can have drone population at reduced temperature (I may have them in limited numbers in hives all winter long here) but these are 'likely' to be drones you do not wish to breed.
2)most drones will lounge about in the hive until air temperature has somewhat elevated (my guess something between 60 and 70 degrees). most virgin queens will fly almost as a group on any given day which I have always though was temperature/sunlight induced...the lower end of the temperature scale (guess again) for this is approximately the same general number.
perhaps I need to drag along another useless bit of gear with me to accurately determine temperature????
Our average high temp does not get to 65F until the later part of May, with our average low still in the 30's.
Our swarm season starts the later part of May and runs through much of June.
I make splits up toward the end of April, many times with snow still on the ground, so that they can rear their queens and have her mating flight timed with the onset of swarm season.
If they are swarming they have drones and have had them for sometime.
No Cold Showers
Thanks guys. It is just as I thought.
My alternative theories included that, below 65F, certain drone anatomy wouldn't "function" properly for mating.
So I'm once again thinking that the real trick in recognizing the conditions which induce hives to rear drones and use that as a means of forecasting queen-rearing time. Of course, the easy was is to simply pick a date on the calendar that has always worked for you.
when I buy queen cells here in the spring I just watch for the drones to show up (in some number) on my selected hives (drone hives) and then approximately two week after that is a good time to plan on having queen cells available. I think??? (based on one years experience) that feeding pollen patties plus a dribble of feed gets the hives to rearing drones a bit earlier. testing the hypothesis here again this year. not an identical experiment relative to last year since I have begun feeding (pollen patties and sugar) a bit earlier.
Drone Care, Drone Bank.
You may want to consider a queen less drone bank with a lot of sealed worker brood and pollen in the comb to supply the drones with proper nourishment.
fyi each time that i set up my drone nursery hives they become queen right as the v.q.'s do check out other homes.
the queens do not 100% go out on mating flights.you need a nice warm 60-65 calm day for mating flights.
The drones are not sexually mature until they are at least 14 days post emergence from their cell.
Thanks Ernie, This is info I didn't know.