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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,759

    Default an experiment--to fly or not

    In this experiment I want to know how many active forager bees will come out to forage in the day time after fatten them up with syrup and patty at night time.

    Background infos: Right now we are in an early Spring flow. This is my most active hive out of the five I have now. Some capped honey and white wax are made. Borage and collard flowers all blooming with nectar and pollen just outside the bee hives. I have a very active hive with 3 frames of forager bees. But not many nurse bees in there now. This hive also has a good solid pattern laying queen from last late Fall. Also, 3 frame of capped broods, eggs and larvae at various stage of development. On a sunny warm day this hive is the most busy with many forager bees come and go. They are raising more larvae now.

    Cause of this experiment:
    The main issue for this test is that the queen over laid with the eggs. And now the 3 frames all covered with capped broods with not many nurse bees to cover them. So my worry is that not enough bees to cover in the day time they might get the chill broods when the active foragers all went outside. I had transferred 2 frame of broods without the nurse bee into the other hives already. Problem still exist now with a shortage of nurse bees to keep all the broods and larvae warm.

    Feeding them:
    At night time I fed them with honey syrup zip loc baggies to fatten them up. By day time they are too fat and lazy to fly. Patty with them all day long too. This is the second day into this experiment.

    So anybody here would like to guess at what is the final result in the day time? Do they fly or stay in with the broods to avoid the brood chill?
    If they fly then how many will go out, one half or less than? Foragers made up 90% of this hive population now. And gathering nectar to turn into
    honey like crazy. They all know it is very tempting outside indeed at this early Spring time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: an experiment--to fly or not

    So anybody here would like to guess at what is the final result in the day time? Do they fly or stay in with the broods to avoid the brood chill?
    If they fly then how many will go out, one half or less than? Foragers made up 90% of this hive population now. And gathering nectar to turn into
    honey like crazy. They all know it is very tempting outside indeed at this early Spring time.
    It has always been my understanding that once a nurse bee transitions into a forager bee, there is no way for her to go back to being a nurse bee. Duties are determined by the bee's internal development and not necessarily by how much brood is or isn't present, so once she hits the forager stage there is no way for her to undo those chemical changes in her own body.

    Like I said, this is just my own understanding. I cannot cite any studies to prove it or anything like that.

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: an experiment--to fly or not

    Interesting thought. but I see some issues. First you need a baseline.... hard to establish because of weather. second, how are you actually counting foragers?? I would really LOVE to know that one.... been bugging me for months. you would actually need to count forage trips....

    And last, your comment about 90% being foragers is way off. unless they are and have been queenless for a cpl weeks, that should be more like 25%

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: an experiment--to fly or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    It has always been my understanding that once a nurse bee transitions into a forager bee, there is no way for her to go back to being a nurse bee. Duties are determined by the bee's internal development and not necessarily by how much brood is or isn't present, so once she hits the forager stage there is no way for her to undo those chemical changes in her own body.

    Like I said, this is just my own understanding. I cannot cite any studies to prove it or anything like that.

    Rusty
    I read in "Beekeepers Handbook" that if all the young workers become old or die the old ones can reactivate food glands to raise brood and switch back on wax glands to build comb.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: an experiment--to fly or not

    Good to know.

    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: an experiment--to fly or not

    One time I made up mating nucs by taking all brood and bees from a hive and putting them in the nucs. I set up an empty hive with some drawn comb, foundation and some honey and put the queen back in. It went back to the original location, so all of the foragers returned. So the hive had a queen, all of the foragers and no nurse bees or brood. It worked fine and grew to a double deep in about 3 months.

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