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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,429

    Post

    We finally got a little sunshine today after several days of almost non-stop rain, and I was finally able to go through my hives. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    One was a swarm that I captured about 3 weeks ago and was pleased to see that the queen has been laying in pretty nice patterns on a handful of frames. I was in the center of the box looking at a frame of brood when I heard a faint "flute" type sound. I didn't think much of it... thought it may be music from the house across the field. Then I heard it again and this time noticed that it was coming from the box - could it be a Piping Queen? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I pulled out the next frame and heard it again but much clearer this time, and sure enough... there she was! I held the frame up for quite a while watching her, in awe. She must have stopped and piped 10 times while I was watching her.. and each time she piped, all the bees within about a 4 inch radius instantly froze - and as soon as she stopped they all started moving again. It was one of the coolest experiences I have had in a while with the bees. Awesome!

    Anyway, it's probably no big deal for most of you, but I just wanted to share my 1st.
    To everything there is a season....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    I'm guessing there's another queen in the hive. There was probably more than one queen in the swarm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Post

    WOW I wish I wasn`t hard of hearing
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Marshall, VA USA
    Posts
    136

    Post

    That's when you tell the new guy with you....'Look out....she's gonna blow.....' and take off running!
    If you're not confused you just don't know what's going on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rosedale, IN
    Posts
    501

    Post

    What a cool experience! This is only my second year. Have heard this online, but never for real.
    "The greatest threat is our own staggering ignorance and cavalier treatment of the natural world to which we belong."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,429

    Post

    The most fascinating part was watching the reaction of the workers. The second she started to pipe the workers instantly froze in place, like pausing a movie. Then the instant she stopped, every bee was immediately scurrying around again, they just picked up where they left off... like starting up the movie again. It's hard to explain, but was an absolute treat for me [img]smile.gif[/img]
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #7

    Post

    Yeah, that's way cool. The only times that I've ever heard piping were when multiple queens are together in a shipping package or queen bank. Never in a solo hive, and I've been at this for fifteen years.

    Good on ya'.

    Cheers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    229

    Post

    Piping queens are cool. Seeing and hearing them the first time is something you got to experience to believe it.

    Although - you don't have to be a virgin to make bees freeze. If you have an observation hive you can make the bees freeze with your own voice. It takes a little practice with different pitches. Sing a single note right in front of the observation hive glass window. When you hit the right pitch, all the bees freeze, as long as you can hold the note. When you stop they start scurrying around again. It works for male or female voices.

    Yes, - and it is just another reason to switch the channel to the observation hive's Bee-TV - it is a much more interactive form of entertainment.
    5-8 hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Post

    Released another queen in a nuc today. She piped twice, then settled down and started inspecting cells. Cool sound.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Palestine, Tx. 75801
    Posts
    485

    Post

    What a neat post Mike, I have never had the experience to hear the queens piping.
    jrhelliott@gmail.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N. Ridgeville, OH, USA
    Posts
    352

    Post

    Never had the opportunity to hear one in a hive. My first piping queen (that I actually heard) was a new queen that I purchased for replacement last year. She was singing to me from my shirt pocket on the drive home!

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