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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    902

    Default mating flight--time of day?

    If the weather is nice etc, is there a particular time of day the queen goes out for mating? And mating flights can cover a few consecutive days, correct?

    I have a queen that emerged either last Thursday or Friday. She is in a 4 frame box with 2 frames of bees. They had more than one side of a frame of nectar, some capped honey, some pollen, last week.

    I noticed on Tues that robbing was going on. Since then I've had them under watch as much as I can (the box is right outside my patio door) to regulate the problem. Sometimes I have to block them in, then I will open up for 2 bees passage, cover with sheet to confuse, etc.

    Yesterday afternoon I opened and check frames, all the stores were gone. So I rubber banded into frames some comb I'd kept from a cut out for back up. I took a full frame out of the freezer which I will give them later today.

    With all my interference, I am concerned about the mating flight. Is there a time of day I can make sure she can get in and out?
    Any other ideas?
    Thanks.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,620

    Default Re: mating flight--time of day?

    Virgin's aren't usually mature enough to mate until about a week after emergence. Conventional wisdom is that they take mid afternoon mating flights but my observations indicates that may not always been be the case. I wouldn't interfere with them much outside of reducing entrance size enough to control robbing.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: mating flight--time of day?

    Mating flights typically occur between 1pm to 4pm standard time. Virgin queens typically mate between 8 and 12 days after emergence, but this is highly variable depending on weather.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: mating flight--time of day?

    "Nature does nothing uselessly." Aristotle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: mating flight--time of day?

    Quote Originally Posted by indypartridge View Post
    Mating flights typically occur between 1pm to 4pm standard time. Virgin queens typically mate between 8 and 12 days after emergence, but this is highly variable depending on weather.
    That pretty much concurs with my observations although I have seen a few flying from Apideas as late as 5.30pm.
    I have never known queens to take a mating flight in the morning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,620

    Default Re: mating flight--time of day?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    That pretty much concurs with my observations although I have seen a few flying from Apideas as late as 5.30pm.
    I have never known queens to take a mating flight in the morning.
    You may well be correct on this, I claim no specific expertise. My "observations" were based on several day spells of weather that seemed to me that the only decent breaks were some warm sunny mornings. I expect the worst from these when on our normal checkback schedule and am sometimes pleasantly surprised. Perhaps they fly earlier than some think, or perhaps its just that virgins will mate in worse weather than I realize.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: mating flight--time of day?

    I have seen virgins take an orientation flight in the morning but never a proper mating flight.
    These are usually queens 5 or 6 days from emergence and they take short flights of just a few minutes.
    If you have a lot of apideas on one site and you get a good day after 2 weeks of bad weather you can see quite a lot of queens flying.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    902

    Default Re: mating flight--time of day?

    I have been home the past couple afternoons, watching to see if I might see her come or go. I've never seen that.

    I left the box alone today, I didn't put the frame of honey in. This nuk is a home made plywood box that the lid didn't have a tight fit on the narrow end on top and that's what they've been using for entrance. The other opening is a 1 1/2 inch circle that has a screen stapled over. I have a sheet over it and the bees have a inch or so at the bottom of the box then go up under the sheet to the lid to go in and out. I left it all alone today because bees were coming and going, robber bees were minimal. I just hope the queen finds her way out and back in if I leave it this way. Maybe I should take the sheet off? It's working as far as the robbing is going.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

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