One thing that I am not clear about it is what happens to the drones from the hives with virgin queens. Let's assume that a hive swarmed. A new queen emerged and killed off her sisters. Now she is leaving for her mating flight. What is happening with the drones in the hive. Are they not interested in their half sister or do they follow her and mate with her too?
From what I have read a virgin queen flies about 1.5 miles on average to her mating area. A drone flies 0.5 miles on average to the drone congregation area. The difference between the two limits the inbreeding potential.
Last edited by muskratcreekhoney; 01-14-2011 at 02:24 PM.
Reason: a had it backwards
I suppose the intent of the original question was to find out whether lack of nearly hives is sufficient enough reason for a queen to not be bred. If I am the only person with bees, will my drones mate with my virgin queens or do I really need drones from other hives to be around.
I suppose the intent of the original question was to find out whether lack of nearby hives is sufficient enough reason for a queen to not be bred. If I am the only person with bees, will my drones mate with my virgin queens or do I really need drones from other hives to be around.
I don't think that you will have a problem with unmated queens. You can short stop the problem by having a colony or two with queens from a different queen breeder or by having different races of bees in your bee yard.
In an ideal world you need a colony 0.5 to 1 mile away from your virgin hive, but when your breeding 1 or two queens they will probably get bred by some far away hives that you don't know about or even better yet by some wild hives. Do you know of any hives within a couple of miles from you?
There are hives about 2 miles due southeast of me, and another set about 3 miles due south. I am sure there are drones in my area, I just wanted to know the absolute necessity of having drones from other hives when my own future hives will probably have hundred drones sitting idle.
How many hives do you have vs how many queens are you trying to mate?
If you are just needing to make sure that there are enough drones to cover swarming queens.... you should not have to worry with five or more hives.
Yes drones from the same hive will mate with their own queen... the less hives, and more isolated (from other colonies)... the less likely you will be to get well mated queens....
You don't have to use out yards for your drones... queens seek DCAs, the closer they are, the less far she will fly.... drones congregate in several areas, usually along tree lines... if you have hundreds of drones, and fourteen DCAs, you will not have many drones in each DCA, and the queen may either fly further to find better DCAs or she may chose to mate with fewer drones out of urgency... the more drones you offer the area, the more drones each DCA will have...
Check out the thread titled "Drone Nucs"... Pete (Beekuk) posted a link that explains it very well.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by rrussell6870; 01-14-2011 at 07:49 PM.