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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    117

    Default Queen behavior and how bees respond to them.

    Is there general guidelines on how to tell if a queen is mated or not besides the presence of eggs ? I have a hive that has had 3 queens running around in it since its last swarm. 2 of the queens hang out on the underside of the top bars and one of them is on the comb but there are no eggs yet. I caught her today (the one on comb) because I was going to requeen the hive and the bees were all over the queen cage, and acting mad. (like they would normally be, with an established laying queen) The other 2 queens I took out a few days ago got no attention whatsoever. I even took them to another hive just to see their reaction.

    Does the presence of attendant bees necessarily mean the queen is mated ? I ask this because most of the virgin queens ive seen in hives didnt get much attention from workers. So I was curious if this is a semi reliable way to tell if a newly hatched queen is mated when you cant find eggs but aren't ready to give up yet.
    Last edited by Steve Johnson; 06-22-2013 at 09:30 PM.
    My blog and website: FromtheHive.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Queen behavior and how bees respond to them.

    I don't know about reliable guidelines for determining if your queens have mated (except for eggs), but this article seems to support some of your observations:

    For Honey Bee Queens, Multiple Mating Makes Her Attractive To Workers
    Science Daily (2007)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1008183309.htm

    "... the number of times a honey bee queen mates is a key factor in determining how attractive the queen is to the worker bees of a hive."
    Jeanette
    HiveTasks Software for beekeepers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,685

    Default Re: Queen behavior and how bees respond to them.

    I also look for new drawn comb. I can just open a nuc lid and usually know without looking any further if the queen has been successful in her mated return. I usually see new drawn comb on top the frames.
    The nuc just has an enthusiastic 'mood' and is content.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,958

    Default Re: Queen behavior and how bees respond to them.

    I'm not sure about "mated", but I can tell if a mating nuc believes that it has a vialable queen by the amount of feed that they take (and then the amount of comb they build like Lauri stated above). On my queen castles I use quart jars above each of the 3 chambers. By just looking at the amount of feed left in the jars I can pretty much guess which nuc I'm going to have to requeen. Queenless chambers don't take much food, while queen right hives try to build comb everywhere.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Queen behavior and how bees respond to them.

    Thank you so much Jeanette. I've been waiting a week to get an answer or for someone to confirm my suspicions. The comb building and feeding are other very good symptoms I hadnt thought of. I think I was just impatient in waiting for her to lay.
    My blog and website: FromtheHive.org

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