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  1. #1

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    Micheal Bush: Actually the research I've seen indicates, if you think in terms of EHB's that we raise which are on enlarged cells, the dominance of the AHB's has a lot to do with small drones that can outfly the oversized EHB drones. Small cell could counter a lot of this.
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    Why can small drones out-perform large ones? Are large 'studs'(heck, why not 'flying sky mustangs') better suited to cooler european amiting conditions? (Geez, what triggers bee mating, daylength or temp., barometric pressure...)
    Would earlier-in-the-season mating flights favor larger drones, thus european, or larger, or at least more cool-temp.-active 'beebulls'? Have habits of raising new queens from hives where they hatch later, from hive smallness/weakness or later hive build-up favored AHBs?

    MB:Also the survival seems more related to small cell than to genetics of the AHB although genetics may also play into it. The shorter time to emergence is a product of cell size, as I and others have observed and measured in EHB's on small cell.
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    Cool. I never would have guessed that. So restricting queen cell size could even the playing field to some extent, at the expence of some queen size and egg-laying ability. (How do we do that?)
    But if many queen cells are lain in one hive, with one africanized, wouldn't it be likely that all their cells would be, on average, the same size, being constructed by the same house bees? Or do a queen's siblings, from the same sperm donor/'skystallion', choose, via pheremones, and tend preferentially, their sibling queen-to-be, when re-queening is called for? (This could explain a genetic tendency to hatch from smaller queen cells.)

    MB: And this shorter time from capping to emergence plays a big role in the AHB's fighting the mites.
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    Hence the value of smaller brood comb - ahah.
    So big cell honey comb frames, and small cell brood comb frames? Would big cell brood frames in spring yield big, cool-temperature-resistant workers better adapted for the season? Would later switching to smaller cell brood frame for the summer lessen AHB take-overs, as well as Varroa mite infestation?
    But Eastern russian bees are said resistant to varroa mites after long decades of predation, in quite chilly Vladivostok, and about the Sea of Okhotsk.
    Hmmmm. When do Varroa mites become most infectious? I guess as they are usually sheltered in the temperature-moderated hive, temperature outside doesn't matter. Hivebound, they have little chance to detect daylength directly, so how could they respond to that?

    Brian Cady

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Why can small drones out-perform large ones? Are large 'studs'(heck, why not 'flying sky mustangs') better suited to cooler european amiting conditions? (Geez, what triggers bee mating, daylength or temp., barometric pressure...)

    I only know that research on AHB has shown that the smaller drones are faster and why they are taking over any area where they move in. Areodynamics is the assumed cause of the increase in speed. Given the same engine a little sports car will generally outrun a bit stationwagon.

    >Would earlier-in-the-season mating flights favor larger drones, thus european, or larger, or at least more cool-temp.-active 'beebulls'? Have habits of raising new queens from hives where they hatch later, from hive smallness/weakness or later hive build-up favored AHBs?

    I still don't understand the issue of temps. As I said, I only know of the research on the AHBs which shows that smaller drones are faster drones. When the temps are cool is not usually when people are raising queens.

    >Cool. I never would have guessed that. So restricting queen cell size could even the playing field to some extent, at the expence of some queen size and egg-laying ability.

    Why do you think it wtould limit egg-laying ability? I don't restrict queen cell size. The bees build what they want, but the small bees build slightly smaller queen cells.

    >But if many queen cells are lain in one hive, with one africanized, wouldn't it be likely that all their cells would be, on average, the same size, being constructed by the same house bees? Or do a queen's siblings, from the same sperm donor/'skystallion', choose, via pheremones, and tend preferentially, their sibling queen-to-be, when re-queening is called for? (This could explain a genetic tendency to hatch from smaller queen cells.)

    There is research to show that the house bees prefer full sisters to half sisters and will take more care of them. I don't know how that plays into this.

    >Hence the value of smaller brood comb - ahah. So big cell honey comb frames, and small cell brood comb frames? Would big cell brood frames in spring yield big, cool-temperature-resistant workers better adapted for the season?

    No. Where do you get a relationship between cool temperature-resistance and size? If you want bees that work when it's cold get Caucasians or Carniolans.

    >Would later switching to smaller cell brood frame for the summer lessen AHB take-overs, as well as Varroa mite infestation?

    Small cell seems to help anytime. The bees seem to do the opposite of what you are suggesting. When left to their own devices they make smaller bees in the spring and slightly larger bees in the fall (all smaller than the 5.4mm artificially enlarged bees that most are raising)

    >But Eastern russian bees are said resistant to varroa mites after long decades of predation, in quite chilly Vladivostok, and about the Sea of Okhotsk.

    What do temps have to do with it?

    >Hmmmm. When do Varroa mites become most infectious?

    Varroa reproduce anytime there is brood to reproduce in. In the fall when the bee population falls the mite population seems to peak.

    >I guess as they are usually sheltered in the temperature-moderated hive, temperature outside doesn't matter.

    Actually it does. Many more mites drop in hot weather than in cool weather. Also, the mites will reproduce at a higher rate when the temps in the hive are slightly cooler. Maybe the two cancel each other out.

    >Hivebound, they have little chance to detect daylength directly, so how could they respond to that?

    I'm not sure of the significance, but I would not assume that the mites don't know where the sun is. The bees know where it is on the other side of the earh, according to Von Frisch. The activity of the bees would certainly give away that the sun was up not to mention the heat from the sun on the hive.


    Varroa enter the cell just before capping and lay an egg every 30 hours until emergence. That egg has to hatch, develop and find a mate before emergence or it will not live. Shorter emergence would (and has been documented in AHB) lessen the population increase of the mites. So would sooner capping times. Just before our enlarged bees get capped they give of a pheromone that attracts the mites. If they get capped early enough the mites are not attracted to the workers and don't enter the cells. Again this is documented in AHB. The phreomone is documented in EHB, but not the early capping.

  3. #3

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    I wonder if the only reason that AHB queens hatch out quicker and AHB sperm give rise to smaller drones, etc., than EHB, in AHB&EHB-insemenated-queen hives with big cells, is that AHB, as larvae and pupae, are less responsive in final bee size, to cell size, than EHB.

    Actually that can't be it, as both queen cells and drone cells are non-standard; not set by foundation. Hmm.

    Brian Cady

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I have observed a day early capping time and a day early post capping time in small cell European bees. This means that from egg to emerged bee with small cell is 19 days. I'm only at 4.95mm also in this observation. Dee says that 4.85 will cut another day off. I have not measured this on queens nor on drones. I am setting up an experiment to do in the spring to try to measure this in actual hours (instead of days) for:

    4.9mm workers.
    5.4mm workers.
    5.9mm drones.
    6.6mm drones.

    I suppose it would make sense to also do it for small cell queens and large cell queens in hours. But I'd have to let the bees build their own queen cells and I'd have to find some enlarged bees around here somewhere to do it.

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