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Thread: Piping Queen

  1. #1

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    I just receive 4 new queens and are assuming they have been mated (will have to contact the supplier). Strange thing was at leat one of the queens was piping when I got home. As a new bee keeper, I was quite surprized thinking this was normally associated with queen cells and swarming.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Whenever there are queens you can have queens piping. It seems to be a sort of honor-system battle cry. If any queen is in range to hear another queen's piping, they invariably answer it with their own piping, by this they locate each other and then have at it. Silly how those still confined to their cell, prior to emerging, will still answer the battle cry while they are still sitting prey, like fish in a barrel.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
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  3. #3
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    what is piping?
    Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever .... Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue.

  4. #4
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    They'll sometimes pipe when removed from a hive.

    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/misc/queens.htm

    It's a beeping sound, I had to crank the volume on my computer to hear it on the link above.

  5. #5
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    http://cyberbee.msu.edu/biology/ch6/dance4.html

    Dannny,

    In the link above you can hear piping by adult mated queen for two series. Then you will hear a virgin queen possibly still in a queen cell respond with a series of short quarter notes.

    The queen, as she pipes, presses her thorax against the beeswax comb. Adult queens pipe on or close to the queen cell of developing queens. Worker bees pick up the sound, probably via vibrations, and may be observed to stop or freeze movements in the vicinity of queen piping.

    If there are virgin queens within queen cells, they respond with a series of about ten short pulses. Piping is more frequently heard in swarming than in supersedure behavior and is more commonly heard after the primary swarm leaves. We do not know what precise role it plays but it is believed piping may help time swarm departure, particularly for afterswarms. Also, it may help the virgin queen locate her potential rivals so she can eliminate them.

  6. #6

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    Interesting, but as I originally posted, these are 4 new queens still in their cages.

  7. #7
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    I have many a laying queen pipe when I caught them to mark them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
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    <<these are 4 new queens still in their cages.>>

    That's when I've been most likely to hear them piping also.

  9. #9
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    > Interesting, but as I originally posted, these are 4 new queens still in their cages.

    Yes, these queens are detecting the presence of another queen. Same as a laying queen would detect the presence of a virgin queen.

    > That's when I've been most likely to hear them piping also.

    This simply creates conditions that will make queens pipe in a setting that the beekeeper will hear them. In an apiary it is pretty rare for a beekeeper to notice piping, and the matter can be settled by the queens in a short time making it less likely that you will ever hear it.

  10. #10
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    I have only heard them piping when they are about to emerge. Very cool to hear the piping from a queen cell then watch them emerge.

  11. #11
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    thats a really cool site, naturebee thanks!

    Danny
    Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever .... Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue.

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