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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    update:

    still no word from tucson. if anyone out there knows of another resource i can turn to to get this queen and workers id'd i would be grateful.

    a little too cold and very windy today for an inspection, there wasn't much flying, most cleansing flights i think.

    but it only took about 3 - 4 days for the ursurping workers to starve or die in battle.

    all looks normal again, the hive is heavy, and i'll look for queen evidence at the first opportunity.

    regarding this diploid laying by workers, i can't say that i have seen that in three summers i've had to look at these bees.

    in fact the bred from feral mutts that i have seem not to develop laying workers for a pretty long time. in the one case of laying worker i've had, the brood was spotty and definitly drone.

    the other trait i find intriguing about these cape bees, is multiple 'queens' laying in their own sections of the hive with their own nurse bees. wow.

    i do see this happening in my hives, when it is what appears to be a 'seamless supercedure'. i.e. the mother and daughter queens lay simultaneously until one finally either dies or leaves.

    i think these small late fall swarms are supercedure swarms, and that they are using the usurping option as a last resort.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,466

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    If they are doing a morphological test it will take a while, weeks. They do a lot of testing there. Not only AHB verification.

    If they are doing a DNA test it will take even longer. Don't expect instant results.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    it's ok if it takes a while mark. nothing is hindging on the results. i've just not got a reply at all from tucson, after leaving a voicemail, and an email. maybe they are too busy, or just not interested in these bees. i plan on calling beltsville back on monday, since they referred me to tucson, and see if they will help me get a response from tucson. i think they are all usda.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  4. #64
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,998

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    I had a large swarm try to move into one of my hives last year, after a few hours they went elsewhere.
    Dr. Wyatt Mangum wrote an article in the American bee journal on usurpation several months ago. It seems its not that uncommon in European honeybees, he watched it happen several times in I think he lives in North Carolina.
    Several of my carniolan queens have been as dark as the ones pictured.
    Dan

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    update:

    so it warmed up today, and i went into hive 3, hopefully for its final fall inspection, and hopefully to find out that the ursurpers were unsuccessful in killing the resident queen.

    i waited one week to check, because i knew that all i would have to see a good egg pattern, and i would know she was alright, even if i did not see her.

    well, not only were there no eggs, but there wasn't any brood at all. evidently, this hive has been queenless for at least 3 weeks.

    there was plenty of honey, pollin and a cluster of about seven frames in the deep, and about 1/3 of the medium super had capped honey in it.

    luckily, i had given my bee supplier a heads up a few weeks ago, and told him that i might need a queen or two as i went through these fall inspections. turns out i do need one, i've already called him, and will pick it up tomorrow and introduce her.

    hopefully there's still time for a round or two of winter bee brooding. there are lots of cells polished up and ready, so, here's hopin'.......

    so the bottom line here is:

    1) i didn't see any tell tale signs in these past weeks that these bees were not brooding. lots of pollen and nectar coming in, regular orientation flights, ect. lesson learned is you can't count on entrance observation 100%.

    2) i thought i was doing the colony a favor by thwarting the ursupation. turns out the bees would have been better off had the ursurping queen made it in, and i would have had some nice feral genetics (probably) in my yard. lesson learned is that i'm not sure what i would do if this happens again. maybe save the bees until i checked the hive out first?

    ps: will call my state apiarist monday and ask about id'ing the bees.

    many thanks to all.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  6. #66
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    I had a large swarm try to move into one of my hives last year, after a few hours they went elsewhere.
    Dr. Wyatt Mangum wrote an article in the American bee journal on usurpation several months ago. It seems its not that uncommon in European honeybees, he watched it happen several times in I think he lives in North Carolina.
    Several of my carniolan queens have been as dark as the ones pictured.
    Funny you mentioned that Dan, my son and I were putting our gear on at the bee yard today and I looked up just in time to see a swarm come into the yard from across the field. We quickly got positioned and the swarm was all around us! They tried moving in as we seen fighting on the landing boards of almost all the hives. Then it faded to the east side of the yard and landed in a sage bush. I told Wyatt to go and observe it while I put my last feed bags on for the year. He wanted to hive it but I didn't have any equipment there and I told him it probably wouldn't make it anyhow since I had no extra drawn frames.

    This was the first time I have ever seen an actual swarm in flight and it was awesome!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Squarepeg, have you checked the map (might find a link, or google it) that shows the spread of the AHB? The odds are you got some or some of their genetics... I know they've moved into Arkansas, south of me, but haven't come north here yet... And with them in Florida, the odds are you've got them in your neighborhood.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    steve, the closest confirmed case of ahb to me was in south georgia, just north of the florida panhandle, which is several hundred miles south of me.

    i bought a 4 frame nuc this spring, and rehived into a 10 frame box. they ate my lunch on the first inspection. had to requeen.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,416

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    mark, that's what i thought too, but then i found this:
    Is it summer in Alabama?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Is it summer in Alabama?
    wadya mean 'ol friend?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,416

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    mark, that's what i thought too, but then i found this:

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/usurpat...-over-another/
    Seems like there were a hundred post all at once.
    My comment refers to this link.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    still don't get it ace...
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Usurpation was thought to be a AHB trait but apparently it happens w/ European bees more often than first thought. Most people just don't know what they are seeing. I heard a lecture by Dr. Wyatt Mangum & actually saw it happen in one of my hives. Sometimes you can't stop nature.

    Here's the link to Dr. Mangum's first article on the subject. He told me to expect another this winter.
    Honey Bee Biology - February 2011 by Dr. Wyatt A. Mangum
    The Usurpation of Another Colony and the Evidence Leading to That Conclusion

    http://www.americanbeejournal.com/si...132584_828.htm
    Last edited by BeeZerk; 10-20-2012 at 10:20 PM.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,424

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Link doesn't work.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    portland, dorset, UK
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    well, not only were there no eggs, but there wasn't any brood at all. evidently, this hive has been queenless for at least 3 weeks.

    2) i thought i was doing the colony a favor by thwarting the ursupation. turns out the bees would have been better off had the ursurping queen made it in, and i would have had some nice feral genetics (probably) in my yard. lesson learned is that i'm not sure what i would do if this happens again. maybe save the bees until i checked the hive out first?
    This latest observation leads me to wonder whether your usurpation swarm was actually a mating swarm (with rightful queen) returning to their own hive. I can't of course offer a sensible suggestion for the fighting which broke out between them and the colony.

    That said, Wyatt Mangums series of articles and the experiences which Willie Robson recounts (in a country where there is no AHB or Cape genetics so far as anyone is aware) did start me thinking about this and I did actually mention Dr.Mangums observations a couple of months ago in a thread on the Scottish beekeeping forum. We're all quite comfortable with finding supercedure queens in colonies and we're also familiar with the notion of virgins/newly mated queens going astray and ending up in other colonies after taking mating flights. It's also far from uncommon for the inhabitants of small mating nucs to either leave with a mating swarm and not return or to simply abscond at a later date. Sometimes these small swarms appear, having set up camp somewhere else but more often than not they just seem to 'vanish' from the radar. I do wonder whether there could be some overlap between these instances and usurpation which simply hasn't been credited.

    Possibly an interesting research project for someone with the time and resources. Certainly worth further thought and observation.

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,416

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    still don't get it ace...
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/usurpat...-over-another/

    A summer swarm invades an established colony.

    The summer swarm, which under normal circumstances could not survive the winter, overwinters on the stores collected by the usurped colony.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    many thanks rolande.

    there have been five instances of these very small late summer swarms near me this season. i initially attributed them to overcrowding, and did not realize that supercedure might have been occuring.

    i caught the first of these small swarms and hived it, adding resources left over from a laying worker hive, and a just a little supplemental feeding. it's now heavy for the winter and hopefully will produce next season.

    another of these small swarms got stuck in the open, drawing comb on a limb that was accessible. this one was also caught, but got away.

    a third was caught by my neighbor, the fourth i just let fly off, and the fifth was the topic of this thread.

    i have read that some beekeepers think that fall is a good time for requeening. maybe the bees around here do to.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Is it summer in Alabama?
    thanks ace. i guess it depends on what the defintion of 'is' is.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    update:

    in prepping for the requeening of hive 3 today, i decided it would be a good idea to give the hive a frame of brood and fresh nurses from my strongest hive.

    when i went into the strong hive to get this frame, i found that it was also broodless, even though i had seen eggs in it on 092912. indeed, it was obvious that the bees were backfilling cells that had brood in them only 3 1/2 weeks ago.

    my interpretation of this is that all of the hives are ramping down their brooding for winter.

    so, my dilemma i: i am now not sure whether or not 3 is queenless, and it's not possible to use a frame of eggs to see if they make queen cells or not.

    what's more, 3 had a few more dead bees from fighting on the ground again this morning.

    i am happy to entertain suggestions as to what you would do. i am about to leave and go get the new queen, following the rationale that the fighting and dead bees on this hive, and this hive alone, is suggestive of queenlessness.

    i do have a small hive in another yard that i might consider combining this one with as a plan b.

    ps: even though i was only in my strong hive for a short time, it definitely called attention to it, had to reduce the entrance.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,040

    Default Re: 101312 usurpation attempt

    update cont.

    ok, the new queen (caged and marshmellowed) is in. didn't see any balling or aggressiveness toward her. time will tell.

    i shared the whole story with my bee supplier, and he told me that he has see take-overs in his yard from time to time. he just lets it happen, which is probably what i should have done.

    his bees are brooding down too, but haven't stopped. probably because of the artificial 'flow' he has going with his big yard feeder.

    i'm glad too, because the queen i got was still laying, and if i remember mike palmer correctly, he said that the bees will accept a laying queen better than one that has not been laying.

    again, many thanks to all for posting.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

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