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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,403

    Default Queens and logistics

    As I harvest nurse bees and emerging brood to assemble cell builder colonies and populate mating nucs, I notice about a week and a half ago, that one colony had become queenless, with about six emergency queen cells. About one week ago I noticed that a virgin had emerged in this colony and I thought she had destroyed all of the sister queen cells. The virgin was now laying and I was just in time to see a new sister queen emerge from a cell the first virgin had apparently overlooked. I rescued her, caged her, and placed her with a newly formed colony in need of a queen.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 04-15-2011 at 07:56 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    787

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    Virgins can lay? -james

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,114

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    A week old queen usually isn't a virgin anymore. They're early bloomers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    dixiebooks,

    Unfortunately some virgins do begin laying, they get the moniker, "Drone-layer". I've had a few of those over the years. Fortunately, this time, like David LaFerney, said, I assume she mated early, since she isn't old enough to fit the scenario that usually goes with becoming a Drone-layer.

    My guess is that since my activities in this colony effectively split the brood nest, and this solitary queen cell was almost on the opposite side of the super from all the other queen cells. There was a frame of nectar/pollen and an empty comb between this frame and the other frames containing brood and the majority of the queen cells. That could also be the explanation for this queen cell being so much younger, too.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 04-15-2011 at 08:16 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    I have never seen a virgin lay. I have never seen a virgin who can't fly (damaged wings) start to lay. Queens who mate late lay nothing but drones. In my observation, (and Huber's) queens who never mate, never lay.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    MB, so Drone-layers are mated queens, but they mated after their biological clocks no longer allow matings to be successful. I had always thought they were virgins that never managed to mate. I had envisioned Drone-layers as virgin queens that were prevented from successfully mating during the period when mating, for them, were a biological imperative. That they outgrew the urge to perform mating flights, hence began laying without a reservoir of sperm.

    -----
    I can't explain it, but I once had a queen, she was doing a very good job, but one of her wings was shriveled up in such a way that it appeared to be that way from the time she emerged. Perhaps the wing had sustained damage sometime after she mated, but I lost track of her and never had the chance to examine her under magnification.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,114

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    Assuming that is correct then one quality control measure might be to destroy any queens which don't produce eggs by some deadline after planting the cells in mating nucs. 12 days maybe?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    As a prank a local person in the club found some virgins that didnt develope and didn't have wings. We took them to some who new how to do AI, and had them inseminated, then gave the queens to another beek. The queens started laying, and she noticed they didnt have wings, and flipped out a bit. It was all in good fun.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Assuming that is correct then one quality control measure might be to destroy any queens which don't produce eggs by some deadline after planting the cells in mating nucs. 12 days maybe?
    David thats exactly what most queen breeders do but it's usually longer than that approx 3 1/2 to 4 weeks tops is about right for our area in the spring.

    frazz

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    >MB, so Drone-layers are mated queens, but they mated after their biological clocks no longer allow matings to be successful.

    That is what Huber says and what is consistent with my experience. It does not seem to be the commonly held view, but I've never seen a queen who can't fly start laying at all.

    > I had always thought they were virgins that never managed to mate.

    That seems to be a common belief.

    > I had envisioned Drone-layers as virgin queens that were prevented from successfully mating during the period when mating, for them, were a biological imperative. That they outgrew the urge to perform mating flights

    I don't think they outgrow the urge until they mate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Queens and logistics

    Drone layers are also queens that run out of sperm in their spermatheca and thus go infertile. TK

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