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Thread: Drone survival

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Jameson, MO USA
    Posts
    76

    Question

    When a colony first starts drone production in the spring, how long will those initial drones persist (survive) into the season to be available for beeding new queens? I know that the drone raising will continue, but I am curious to know just how long a drone will remain viable, and in particular the first ones of the season.
    Thanx.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Joel wrote:
    When a colony first starts drone production in the spring, how long will those initial drones persist (survive) into the season to be available for beeding new queens?

    Reply:
    On average I would say no more then about 2 months. Assuming here that broodnest change over has happened from long lived winter drones to short lived active season summer drones. Now broodnest changeover occurs twice in the calendar year. Spring going into summer, and fall going into winter.

    Now in the fall the live of drones can extend 4 months or more and here viability is extended also, just like with workers, also queens.

    Also IMPOV and others early on, fall queens/drones are better for longer lived workers during the summer active season, rather then shortlived workers that blow themselves up faster with work.

    Joel next wrote:
    I know that the drone raising will continue, but I am curious to know just how long a drone will remain viable, and in particular the first ones of the season.

    Reply:
    Here let me add Joel, that the summer coming on drones here mature at about 10 days average, but in the fall season for winter, this time can be somewhat longer just like their lives are extended by more then double at times.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    olympia, washington, usa
    Posts
    8

    Post

    Dee---

    correct me if i am wrong, but i thought that the drones got booted out of the hive in the fall by the workers, so as none contributing bees would not be using up honey stores in the winter.

    ???
    ---elvin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    The workers will drive out the drones when brood rearing stops in the fall. But brood rearing often continues well into the fall and as long as they are rearing brood they will keep drones around for the possiblilty of needing a new queen. When there isn't any brood, they can't get a new queen, even if there are drones, so the drones are no longer needed after that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    397

    Post

    Elvin wrote:
    correct me if i am wrong, but i thought that the drones got booted out of the hive in the fall by the workers, so as none contributing bees would not be using up honey stores in the winter.

    Reply:
    Not really. Hives with plenty of stores of REAL honey and REAL pollen often carry a small compliment of drones all winter.

    As far as I can remember the longest recorded drones were calculated to be between 6-8 months old.

    For more information you would probably have to read some early works by E.F. Phillips or Wedmore on the subject matter.Possibly Mackensen!

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    397

    Post

    Michael wrote:
    The workers will drive out the drones when brood rearing stops in the fall.

    Reply:
    Not so with good outbred highly variable bees and plenty of stores.

    Michael also wrote:
    But brood rearing often continues well into the fall and as long as they are rearing brood they will keep drones around for the possiblilty of needing a new queen. When there isn't any brood, they can't get a new queen, even if there are drones, so the drones are no longer needed after that.

    Reply:
    When there isn't any brood, good variable outbred bees are quite capable of raising another queen if they really want to come early spring, then fire up for a short duration of one turn or brood or so, and then raise a permanent queen to replace the short term intercaste Thelytoky queen with.

    Regards,

    Dee (P.S. can also happen in dead of summer when temps are over 105% F and brood is also shut off, or queen is lost during mating and bees need to raise another. They just do it given a chance.

    Check the archives here! I think this has been gone over before.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,341

    Post

    >When there isn't any brood, good variable outbred bees are quite capable of raising another queen if they really want to come early spring, then fire up for a short duration of one turn or brood or so, and then raise a permanent queen to replace the short term intercaste Thelytoky queen with.

    I have not seen bees that could do this, but would be very interested in them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    397

    Post

    Michael Bush wrote:
    I have not seen bees that could do this, but would be very interested in them.


    Reply:
    This trait has been seen in Italian, caucasian, carnolian, bees etc or in other words both small natural sized yellow or black bees.

    But this was when bees were allowed to raise own queens, and first out were not killed by those breeding as being inferior(don't know why beekeepers are taught this chain of thought, except maybe breeders/gov afraid of thelytoky traits for bees that take care of themselves). Also by keeping first out queens, this is how one speeds up the genetics of their bees, for bees that can breed faster and this has been said wanted to control varroa. With smaller cell and speeded up genetics control of parasites is quite feasible.

    Yet beekeepers are taught the opposite now in field management. Why?

    If bees follow plant genetics somewhat, like animal genetics somewhat, that what is wrong with a backup system of reproduction for emergencies, and speeded up genetics to fight parasites, etc????? Especially if it is known (early literature) to exist in both yellow and black naturally kept bees, except we are on man's artificially enlarged one now to match our hybridized crops and the only kicker is now. . .both are falling apart!

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Dee said: Especially if it is known (early literature) to exist in both yellow and black naturally kept bees...

    I have not heard of this. Could you give me some references to "early literature" on the subject?

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