Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 31 of 31
  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    >both Mark Winston and Eva Crane write that they do.

    I've searched on BEE-L and come up with a number of posts in the past in which people assert that they have evidence of bees moving eggs. Mark Winston's name came up a few times in reference to studies of africanized hives:

    A question was recently asked about whether bees move eggs and or larvae. Mark Winston and I once did a study in which we made colonies of Africanized bees queenless, then followed all events related to queen rearing and swarming. After becoming queenless, the bees constructed queen cups that were empty; following that either eggs or larvae (Mark would have the details) appeared in the cells and were reared into queens. Since the queen had been removed and females (queens) were reared, it is logical to assume that the eggs were moved by the bees.
    I find this all pretty facinating. Based on what I've read so far, I'm pretty much at the point where I've accepted the idea that bees can and do upon occassion move eggs.

    >The question that comes begging is what came first the egg or the queen cell.

    A lot of questions come begging in my mind. To address yours, I think queen cups come first- I see them all the time on combs, especially new combs, without eggs in them. From my limited experience it's clear that bees act differently when forced into queen rearing due to sudden queenlessness. Perhaps the trait allowing them to remain cool, calm, and collected under these circumstances has been largely selected out in our "domesticated" honey bees by our tendancy of introducing queens into queenless hives rather than letting the bees raise their own. The african bees described above certainly didn't act flustered- they built queen cups, transferred eggs (or larvae?) into them, and got cracking. By comparison, the typical EHB colony appears to raise emergency queens in a panic.

    A few other questions that come to mind around this:

    Is there a window of opportunity during which eggs can be safely moved? I.e., as Michael pointed out, eggs are glued to the bottom of the cell. Perhaps eggs can only be moved right after they've been laid, before the glue sets up? I have read (thanks to Google Scholar) a paper about the developmental changes in an egg from when it's laid to when it hatches. It seems quite likely that a freshly laid egg could tolerate being moved better than an egg that is about to hatch

    Another question. Can/do bees move larvae?

    >I read that on Bee-L too, George, about someone mentioning an egg being moved from another hive, but I'm filled with a great deal of doubt......

    The idea of bees stealing eggs from neighboring hives is tough to swallow, but the poster in question has a good deal of credibility. I'll go out on a limb and suggest that if bees can move eggs around a hive then they can in theory at least move eggs between hives.

    >Would they have carried it in their pollen basket or grasped it with their mandibles or what?

    I'm guessing they have the dexterity to carry eggs in their mandibles without damaging them.

    I'm about at the point in my beekeeping career where NOTHING would surprise me. I remember when I first read about thelytoky. There are many bee behaviors that make me go "Hmmmmm...."
    Dulcius ex asperis

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    In my never ending quest for the truth, I decided to check out what Francois Huber might have to say on this matter. He wrestled with the question of workers moving eggs and concluded that they do not:

    From "New observations on the natural history of bees" Page 66:

    Permit me Sir, to digrefs a moment from the fubject, to give the refult of an experiment which feems interefting. Bees, I fay, are not charged with the care of tranfporting into cells, the eggs mifplaced by the queen: and, judging by the fingle inftance I have related, you will think me well entitled to deny this feature of their induftry. However, as feveral authors have maintained the reverfe, and even demanded our admiration of them in conveying the eggs, I fhould explain clearly that they are deceived.

    I had a glafs hive constructed of two ftages; the higher was filled with combs of large cells, and the lower with thofe of common ones. A kind of divifion, or diaphraghm, feparated thefe two ftages from each other, having at each fide and opening for the paffage of the workers from one ftage to the other, but too narrow for the queen.

    I put a confiderable number of bees into this hive; and, in the upper part, confined a very fertile queen that had just finished her great laying of male eggs; therefore fhe had only thofe of workers to lay, and fhe was obliged to deposit them in the furrounding large cells from the want of others. My object in this arrangement will be anticipated. My reafoning was Fimple. If the queen laid workers' eggs in the large cells, and the bees were charged with tranfporting them if mifplaced, they would infallibly take advantage of the liberty allowed to pass from either stage: they would feek the eggs depofited in the large cells, and carry them down to the lower ftage containing the cells adapted for that fpecies. If, on the contrary, the left the common eggs in the large cells, I fhould obtain certain proof that they had not the charge of tranfporting them.

    The refult of this experiment excited my curiofity extremely. We obferved the queen feveral days without intermiffion. During the firft twenty-four hours, fhe perfifted in not laying a fingle egg in the furrounding cells; fhe examined them one after another, but paffed on without infinuating her belly into one. She was reftlefs, and traverfed the combs in all directions; her eggs appeared an oppreffive burden, but fhe ferfited in retaining them rather than they fhould be depofited in cells of unfuitable diameter. The bees, however, did not ceafe to pay her homage, and treat her as a mother. I was amufed to obferve, when fhe approached the edges of the div ifion feparating the two ftages, that fhe gnawed at them to enlarge the paffage: the workers approached her, and alfo laboured with their teeth, and made every exertion to enlarge the entrance to her prifon, but ineffectually. On the fecond day, the queen could no longer retain her eggs; they efcaped in fpite of her, and fell at random. Then we conceived that the bees would convey them into the fmall cells of the lower ftage, and we fought them there with the utmost affiduity; but I can fafely affirm there was not one. The eggs that the queen ftill laid on the third day difappeared as the firft. We again fought them in the fmall cells, but none were there. The fact is, they are ate by the workers; and this is what has deceived the naturalifts, who fuppofed them carried away. They have obferved the mifplaced eggs difappear, and, without further inveftigation, have afferted that the bees convey them elfwhere: they take them, indeed, not to convey them any where, but to devour them.

    Thus nature has not charged bees with the care of placing the eggsin the cells appropriate for them, but fhe has infpired females themfelves with fufficent inftinct to know the fpecies of eggs they are about to lay, and to depofit them in fuitable cells.
    Fo, I don't know what to fay.

    Even back in 1806 they were fcratching their heads over the question of bees moving eggs. This experiment of Huber's doesn't directly address the question of bees placing eggs in queen cups however. Huber was a great observer and naturalist. He may have more to say on the matter.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    Thif might be a bit more readable:

    "Permit me, Sir, to digress a moment from the subject, to give the result of an experiment which seems interesting. Bees, I say, are not charged with the care of transporting into cells, the eggs misplaced by the queen: and, judging by the single instance I have related, you will think me well entitled to deny this feature of their industry. However, as several authors have maintained the reverse, and even demanded our admiration of them in conveying the eggs, I should explain clearly that they are deceived.

    I had a glass hive constructed of two stages; the higher was filled with combs of large cells, and the lower with those of common ones. A kind of division, or diaphragm, separated these two stages from each other, having at each side an opening for the passage of the workers from one stage to the other, but too narrow for the queen.

    I put a considerable number of bees into this hive; and, in the upper part, confined a very fertile queen that had just finished her great laying of male eggs; therefore she had only those of workers to lay, and she was obliged to deposit them in the surrounding large cells from the want of others. My object in this arrangement will already be anticipated. My reasoning was simple. If the queen laid workers eggs in the large cells, and the bees were charged with transporting them if misplaced, they would infallibly take advantage of the liberty allowed to pass from either stage: they would seek the eggs deposited in the large cells, and carry them down to the lower stage containing the cells adapted for that species. If, on the contrary, they left the common eggs in the large cells, I should obtain certain proof that they had not the charge of transporting them.

    The result of this experiment excited my curiosity extremely. We observed the queen several days without intermission. During the first twenty-four hours, she persisted in not laying a single egg in the surrounding cells; she examined them one after another, but passed on without insinuating her belly into one. She was restless, and traversed the combs in all directions: her eggs appeared an oppressive burden, but she persisted in retaining them rather than they should be deposited in cells of unsuitable diameter. The bees, however, did not cease to pay her homage, and treat her as a mother. I was amused to observe, when she approached the edges of the division separating the two stages, that she gnawed at them to enlarge the passage: the workers approached her and also laboured with their teeth, and made every exertion to enlarge the entrance to her prison, but ineffectually. On the second day, the queen could no logger retain her eggs: they escaped in spite of her, and fell at random. Then we conceived that the bees would convey them into the small cells of the lower stage, and we sought them there with the utmost assiduity; but I can safely affirm there was not one. The eggs that the queen still laid the third day disappeared as the first. We again sought them in the small cells, but none were there. The fact is, they are ate by the workers; and this is what has deceived the Naturalists, who supposed them carried away. They have observed the misplaced eggs disappear, and, without farther investigation, have asserted that the bees convey them elsewhere: they take them, indeed, not to convey them anywhere, but to devour them.

    Thus nature has not charged bees with the care of placing the eggs in the cells appropriated for them, but she has inspired females themselves with sufficient instinct to know the species of eggs they are about to lay, and to deposit them in suitable cells. This has already been observed by M. de Reaumur, and here my observations correspond with his." --François Huber 28 August 1791
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    NEW OBSERVATIONS, ON THE NATURAL HISTORY BEES
    by François Huber (1750-1831).
    published 1806.
    (Written 1787-1791)
    http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    >Thif might be a bit more readable:

    But Michael, I worked really hard to keep all those f's in there! Grateful that he didn't use the word "suck" anywhere in there too. I transcribed it from the scanned pages on the Cornell site. It took a long time [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Nice to see you've cleaned up the text. That took a little time too. I hadn't gotten back reading more of Huber, but now that I've got your site I'll continue.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    George,
    I'm sure you already know it... (it was funny to read it with "f's" in there)... that in old-style writing, the "s" was often made similar to our "typed" "f". It does make it hard when transcribing, efpecially if one if tranfscribing namef and wordf that one haf never feen before and if unfure of the fpelling.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I know it. What I don't understand is why they used an f in a one place and not another. But we're getting caught up in irrelevant details.

    The fact is Huber, who was a very skilled observer for a blind person, and Michael Bush, who is a very skilled observer er.. for a... er.. programmer, are both of the opinion that bees don't move eggs so I am inclined to adopt that opinion as my own, as a general rule [img]smile.gif[/img]

    That said, general rules are almost guaranteed to have exceptions under special circumstances. What might those special circumstances be and are they likely to occur in the typical hive with any frequency? Not sure. I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes and ears peeled and be alert to the possibility of bees moving eggs. It must be a rare occurance if it happens at all.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    >What I don't understand is why they used an f in a one place and not another.

    We stole it from the Greeks. The sigma in the middle of a Greek word looks like this: ς. The sigma at the end of the word looks like this: σ. So the old English version was that an s in the middle of a word looked like this: ∫ and the one at the end looked like a regular s.

    One day someone realized how silly this was. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    They also quit using ligatures like these:   æ

    You'll notice the ligature for ct (which I can't seem to find) in Huber's book (and others from that era) also.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I used to know how... _-{£ ªº heh- I still do know how... to make those extended ascii characters. Had to think a moment, now that I'm on a laptop. It's been a while. Once upon a time I knew the whole set of `em.

    Anyways, thanks for that explanation. And thanks for that link to Huber's writing, it's much easier to read, I've been perusing it much of the afternoon.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,069

    Post

    Well, I somehow missed this thread but I'll bring it up to the top for George.

    I believe that workers do move eggs into q-cups.

    Here is why:

    2 nucs were waiting for their virgin to mate. They were apparently lost on their mating flights. I checked everyday for 4 days for evidence in both of these nucs. There were no eggs in the hive. I had made up the nucs with sealed brood and adhering bees 2 days before the queens emerged. After 4 days installed a frame of eggs/larvae to see if they would raise a queen. After 24 hours nothing. At roughly 36hrs I peeked in again. Sure enough I found the start to 3 q-cells on the bottom of a frame. Not the frame with the eggs and larvae but the frame next to it. This frame already had q-cups before the new frame was added. The q-cups had been whitened on the edges and begun to be drawn out. The larvae in the bottom was exactly the size one would expect to use for grafting.

    The only larvae/eggs or anything on that entire frame was in the q-cups. The only other frame in the nuc with eggs or larvae was the frame I had put in 36hrs prior.

    The only explanation I can find for this is that the bees moved an egg from a cell on the next frame and put it in the cup. The reason I didn't see a start to any q-cells was that (speculation here) the egg had to hatch. Once they had a larvae the right age they began drawing out the cell.

    **The other nuc used cups on the bottom of the frame of larvae. I checked those cups before I put them into the nuc. Nothing nada. 36hrs later they have started them as cells with larvae floating in the bottom.

    To move them from one hive to another. Now that I find difficult to believe.

    [size="1"][ May 09, 2006, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: Dan Williamson ][/size]
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    Interefting thread - I'm forry I miffed it earlier [img]smile.gif[/img]

    "Innate knowledge" - is that the term you were looking for back on page 1 George?

    I'll go back into my drone cell now (after I find that link to Huber's writings) [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads