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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    207

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    tom, are you psychic? My friend Jeremy gave me one book and that's it!! Kim flottum.
    Anyhoo- I gave them some syrup in the new hive to help them along. They seem to like my cooking.
    I am stoked about the window in the new hive because I can gawk without intrusion.

    Ozarks, I did tilt the combs a bit and could have emptied them out when I was trying to eyeball them. The macgyvering was gentle as I just banded it to a longer top bar from the new hive. Dang.. Thanks for that info about the eggs. Those are the intricacies of bees I am looking to learn..

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    207

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    UPDATE TIME
    I moved some queen cells yesterday the 4th. I waited an extra day since I was not positive of what day the bees took initial action.
    Now I have 2 cells in the new hive and 3-4 in the original hive.
    They are scheduled to hatch tomorrow, but possibly tonight since it has been really hot..
    I'm getting excited!!
    I have been feeding them syrup and they eat over a pint a day, and this is the 4 comb split!!
    I have seen foragers returning to the new hive with pollen, so that is a good sign.
    The bees are definitely more protective than normal right now, I get headbutted as soon as I open the hive. No stings though.
    I will update as soon as they hatch.. Wish me luck.

  3. #23
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    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    207

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    I am happy to announce the birth of Her Royal Majesty ...The Queen. well at least the first of them.
    There is still an unhatched queen cell and it is a biggy.
    I tried to upload a photo but no luck.
    Should I try to separate them now while I have the chance and pull a multi-split?
    How are your nucs doing Tom?

  4. #24

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    I think of you are trying to split now that queens are hatching you may be too late. They should all hatch out by tomorrow, or be killed by the ones that precede them. A new queen, as soon as she hatches, will go hunting for her competitors, even stinging them while still in the queen cell. If they aren't hatched out in a couple more days I'd assume them dead and pitch them out. I made my splits the day after the sensitive development phase.

    I am out of town, so I don't know of any changes to the splits since my last update. One laying queen, one hatched but not laying, and one queenless nuc. Talk about a good mix of everything huh? I offered a bar of eggs to the queenless nuc so they can try again, and on Monday I observed at least one queen cell cup. This time it was in the middle of the frame, the definition of an emergency queen cell. I've vowed I won't open this hive until I'm sure this cell is passed the hatching date. I really want this to work out so the all make it. I'm not worried about the queen that isn't laying yet. I think she is just playing hard to get with the drones

  5. #25
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    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    207

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    Queens are definitely in both hives!!
    The activity level has increased dramatically.
    The bees have been scenting the entrances quite often and I have not seen this behavior from my bees before. I assume they are preparing for the Queen's mating flights.(and successful return) Has anyone ever noticed that?
    In a week or less I should start to see eggs. Hopefully I won't dump the eggs out trying to look at them.
    This was my first split so I wasn't comfortable with the inherent risks. I just needed to get one under my belt so I can refer from experience. But all seems well.

  6. #26
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    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    BEST UPDATE YET!!
    I split one June 24.. Went out to the hive to check on the new queen's progress.
    So there I am, trying to control myself and not open up the hive, when along came my solution.
    My queen flies up and goes in the hive. Well, that is another mating flight under her belt!! Maybe its just me but her butt looked bigger than the other day.(That IS a complement)
    Now she knows where to go for some "relations".
    BUT how do the queens find the drones on their first mating flight? Do they follow one of their drones to the party?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    Congratulations, I've only seen that once. Many beekeepers will never see it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keefis View Post
    BUT how do the queens find the drones on their first mating flight? Do they follow one of their drones to the party?
    The drones find the queen, remember those giant eyes they have?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #28

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Keefis View Post
    BUT how do the queens find the drones on their first mating flight? Do they follow one of their drones to the party?
    That is a great question, and to my knowledge, researchers still have not honed in on the answer. It seems the bees know where they want to go, based on weather and environment. I actually had the opportunity to speak with a gentleman that is earning his Master Beekeepers Cert. from U of GA about this. He pointed out that the drones not only can see the queen, but can also pick up extremely minute levels of queen scent from great distances. I want to say he said something like 3 parts per thousand for several hundred yards or something, it was a very impressive value. Imagine if teenage boys could pick up tasty perfume that well...the world would be in romantic chaos!

    Continuing on the example of how they know where to go, it was noted that drones from the same colony in successive years were noted to go to the same place. But all the drones are killed in the fall, so how would that message have been passed on? Seems like maybe the drones would do a waggle dance to talk to each other, but who carries the information through the winter? The queen? It is not believed the drones of a given hive actually communicate with their own queen much at all, and they don't mate in the hive. The thought here is that, again referring to the perfume, the queen scent in the hive actually overwhelms the drones. Think of that time you were crammed in a room with someone wearing too much perfume/cologne. At first you though "Dang, that's strong!" but after just a few seconds, your nose adjusts, and you don't really notice it anymore. So I guess the drones get out of the hive, clear their sinuses, and then go hang out with their buddies at the frat house (drone congregation area, DCA) and just wait for that lonely (drunk) queen to come along.

    The guy that was speaking on the topic told a story about a friend of his, who witnessed a DCA and mating occurring over a McDonald's parking lot one day. Not to say that it always happens here, as it obviously does not. The witness said they kept hearing subtle popping sounds (the drones exploding when they mate) and noted dead bees all over the ground. It seems the bees have some way of knowing, based on all the optimum conditions that they crave that day for mating. But they must change their preference based on varying weather. So a DCA will not always be in the same place every day, and not necessarily even in the same place, with the same weather, as there may be other conditions that the bees can sense that we cannot acutely observe (humidity, barometric pressure, tilt of the earth, gravity of the moon, etc).

    I guess it would be pretty cool if researchers could find a way to stick tracking devices to drones from a hive, and observe them for a year, always recording every possible detail. It would be extremely labor intensive, but could expose a lot of really great science in beekeeping.

    Great job with your queens. It really is exciting isn't it! I love the thought that I only had to purchase one package of bees, and now I have 4 colonies going for the cost of one. If only my first group of bees was a wild swarm caught for free. Then I'd really be sitting pretty on the finance charts!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rogersville, Missouri, USA
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    68

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    Keefis,

    Awesome update!!! Like you I have always wondered how the queens find the DCA. Especially when you consider that she will fly up to 12 miles (so I have read in some books) to find them. Crazy cool!

    Good luck on the new colonies, glad it finally started working out for you.
    Jeff - like me on facebook
    See my bees @ www.ozarkshoney.com

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
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    207

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    More info about the queens" sighting. I didn't know how to approach this at first,.. but the other day when I saw my queen returning from her rendez-vous, she had "something" on her butt.
    It what light colored. I thought it was a Monica Lewinski type of situation, and I was right. --- I just read about the drones reproductive organs staying in the queen sometimes. That is what is was!. Kind of gross/funny if you have a 5th grade sense of humor like I do. They say its rare to see a queen return from her mating flight yet even more rare to see some of the drone return.
    I am going to buy a lottery ticket right now, hope I don't get struck by lightening while in a shark's mouth, but chances are...

  11. #31

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    Yes that is the mating signs. When the drone insert his "tool" there is essentially an explosion that rips his reproductive organs from his body, and leaves them with the queen. Think about it as a timed release. It's like this, you stand at the water fountain all day to drink, but instead you grab a bottle of water and go. The drone dies and falls to the ground. Sad life for the drone, but otherwise he'll just get killed in the fall, so at least this way he dies happy (I assume). This quick mating ability lets the queen mate with multiple drone in a matter of minutes, instead of having to fly around stuck together all day like dragonflies.
    When she returns to the hive with the mating signs, the workers will clean and groom her. This serves as reassurance to the workers too that she has mated, and is not just going out for a casual flight. Wish you could have gotten a pic, but that's OK. What time was it when she returned? I'm wondering if the queen tend to be out all day when they go mating, or if they just take off for a nooner and then return home as quickly as possible. I'm sure they return home quickly to prevent getting eaten by a bird, but I'm just wondering what the time frame for a mating flight would be.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  12. #32
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    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    When I saw her return it was 6 or 6:30 pm. I wish a would have gotten a picture. She was fast though, I would have missed.
    Related question...This was the split so would the new queen(from the split) mate with drones from original donor hive? (They are about 100 feet apart) Also remember I accidentally killed my queen so could the same thing be happening with the new queen in the original hive and the new hive drones? They are the closest opportunity. I do have a beekeeper about 4 - 5 miles south of me. Don't know anything about him or his bees yet, I need to stop in and introduce myself.

  13. #33

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    I suppose it is possible that they could mate with a sister queen outside the hive, but she should have some sort of queen scent from the time she is born, so perhaps she dominates the hive with her scent before she goes out on flights. That would ensure that her own drones become immune to her scent and don't go after her.

    As for mating with drones from the donor hive, that is certainly possible. Keep in mind, a drone is a direct clone of his queen mother. However a queen raised from an egg laid by the same queen, would be a sister to the drone, but she would be half mother, and half drone from some other colony, so she would have some genetic diversity. The really important thing is just that a drone in a hive does not mate with his mother queen, as this would create some serious genetic narrowing. Then again, as long as the queen has really good traits, this may be desirable.

    I don't know how you would ever track it to see if a drone had mated with his own sister. Like I said, researchers "know" that they don't mate inside the hive, be who knows what happens outside. You're looking at a cloud of possibly hundreds of drones, all going for one queen. There is a chance one of her newly claimed drones could hop on.

    I guess it all goes back to the perfume. If the drone is immune to his queen's scent in the hive, does he become entirely immune to it? Or is it only because he is overwhelmed in the hive, and once out and head cleared, perhaps he can smell her again.

    Ever walk into your own home after being gone for a few hours, and you smell something odd? Then you start to wonder if your house always smells like that, or if it's just something that recently started rotting in the trash. As I sit here and relieve internal pressure in my office, I often wonder if other's can pick up traces of that "king scent" when they walk in. I need carbon filter built into the seat of my chair, but that's a different issue...
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  14. #34
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    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    With all that half - mother, son of a second sister stuff I started thinking about Ned Beatty. Horrible.
    As far as "king" scent goes..Someone comes in your office, You bring it up, while looking at your trash can as you say "man yesterdays lunch stinks,doesn't it" You will be cleared of any wrong and technically you didn't lie. They will agree with your statement, unless your trash can is empty.
    Anyhooo- real stuff
    So do bee breeders set up screen tents for mating to control genetics? They gotta do something. Mating Nuc?
    Oh yeah, with what I saw on the queen's butt, if I am ever to look up at a drone cloud,... I am wearing glasses and I am keeping my mouth shut.

  15. #35

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    I think commercial breeders that are boasting genetics typically rely on a few drone producing colonies to essentially oversaturate the local population with their preferential drones. I wonder though, how do you get a drone laying queen? I wonder if a queen goes unmated for long enough if she will always start laying drones. I don't know how else you would enhance drone laying. I really don't know, but here is how I would do it:
    Hatch out a queen in a nuc, where all the entrances are covered with a queen excluder so she can't get out. Or hatch her out in captivity, and immediately clip her wings on birth. Place her in a queenless hive with all the entrances covered with queen reducers. Wait a couple weeks and see what happens. Either they will kill her because they find her unmated and unacceptable, or they will accept that they have a lame queen, and they will give up on life expecting to die. Supply the hive with fresh workers by installing a comb or two of capped brood every week or every other week. Actually, I guess the drone laying queen could be kept in the bottom brood box, and donor work brood could be installed into a second level brood box. Once the brood hatched you'd want to move that comb back to a queenright hive to get relaid with eggs. You may have to feed the drone hive to ensure that they have enough food for all those fat drones.
    It seems like a lot of work, but I guess if the profit potential is there to market your good queens, then I suppose it's worth it.
    So what I am visualizing is a dual brood chambered hive, with a queen excluder on the bottom chamber. This would keep the drone laying queen down in the bottom and keep that whole brood box full of drones. But the workers would be able to move down to take care of them.

    Then again, I suppose if you are running Langs you could just load your hive with drone comb foundation and hope that the bees followed suit and only laid that foundation in drones. Maybe do the brood chamber with 8 frames of worker foundation, and 2 frames of drone foundation. I have yet to experiment with drone foundation though, so I'm not sure how efficient it is at generating drones. But if it works, then you wouldn't have to make all the effort to have an unmated queen. You just need a queen that plays by the rules and only lays drones in the bigger cells. Interesting thought. I think we have long since gotten off the topic of this thread however, so I think you should start posting these thoughts in other forums under more appropriate titles. That will ensure that others get involved and it's not just you and I blabbering.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
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    207

    Default Re: I SPLIT on June 24th Please advise

    I have a good update! Both hives of the split are doing good.
    eggs everywhere, and larvae everywhere else.
    Extra solid pattern too. I should get population in time for fall flow.
    Saw one of the new queens yesterday and she has really "butted out" since a few days ago. A lot bigger once she started laying. She was small and square butted at first. Much pointier and larger now.

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