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Thread: mating flight

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default mating flight

    I started my first queen project ended up with fewer than I had hope for but it was a first attempt and fall at that I got the two queens I needed and had place them in nucs. Well its been just over a week and in checking I don't see eggs not surprised but don't see either queen.... What's the average mortality of queens on mating flights?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lyndhurst, va
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: mating flight

    From my personal and limited experience, I find about 30% of my virgin queens do not return from their mating flights. However, someone in my bee association said he loses only about 1% of his. I live in a wooded area next to a national forest. I do not know if that has any influence on returning or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: mating flight

    For my operation it depends upon the time of year. In early spring (peak build up) I usually have very high success rates (>90%). However, later in the summer it can drop dramatically. We have large populations of dragonflies that take their share. The lowest summer success rate I've seen was 20%.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: mating flight

    Ah, dragonflies. I was thinking birds but I have a fish pond next to house and the fish I keep are to small to take out the dragonfly larva guess I need to stock something bigger than I currently. I still have drones and the nucs are trying to raise emergency queens so guess i will let them take a shot as long as the nuc population holds I am not out anything more than what I am already out...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: mating flight

    I have two different species of birds that like eating bees outta the air, and dragonflies. A month ago I put up a couple owl scare crows and all the birds and dragonflies have disappeared. You may try it and see if it helps, I got mine at Walmart.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, PA USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: mating flight

    I have noticed since I put out my two hive this spring, a lot more dragonflies in my back yard. There are no ponds near me, only a small, flowing stream about 300 yards away.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: mating flight

    Quote Originally Posted by danmcm View Post
    I started my first queen project ended up with fewer than I had hope for but it was a first attempt and fall at that I got the two queens I needed and had place them in nucs. Well its been just over a week and in checking I don't see eggs not surprised but don't see either queen.... What's the average mortality of queens on mating flights?
    7 days is to early for your virgin queen to be laying eggs.
    With very good conditions she should be mated and laying in 12 to 14 days. Give them some time.
    Good luck.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: mating flight

    Bees4u,
    Good call I was rushing it a bit... One nuc has a queen one lost queen in mating flight. Our weather is now turning cold so I combined the nucs into a double stacked nuc and am feeding. Started 10 cells they pulled 7 down then (because i didn't get the importance of a cell finisher) they tore down 5 cells leaveing me with two queens... lost one in mating flight. well for a first try at queen rearing that was pretty sorry but I learned alot and will do better in spring. thanks for all the help.

    Thought this was funny as well I have Italian and Russian hives heres a picture of my new queen...
    bee.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: mating flight

    okay maybe it's just me this new queen isn't light like my Italians I originally thought she looked cordovan sorta more brownish to her head and thorax than her momma who was open mated... but after looking at more images think my italians are just lighter than others.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: mating flight

    It seems that my queens are getting darker and darker every year. I had some this year all black. But i like the darker bees. Im getting only about 50 to 60 % of my queens returning from their matting flight. Having big problems with dragon flies around my yard. I will be looking for a different location next year for my matting yard.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: mating flight

    >What's the average mortality of queens on mating flights?

    It depends on so many things. Predators (as has been mentioned) the time of year etc. Sometimes it's very high and sometimes very low. When I had hives near a lot of dragon flies it did seem to be much lower success rate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: mating flight

    Around here we have many different airborne predators; various insectivorous bird species, robber flies, and curiously several species of dragonflies. Fortunately, except for the birds, the predators are sparse and though some queens don't return from their mating flights, most usually do.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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