How do queens kill other queens still in the cell? - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    It's not a queen's age, or size of her abdomen, that keeps her from passing through a queen excluder, it's that the majority of queens, of any age, have a thorax that is too large to fit through the excluder. The thorax size changes very little, if at all, throughout the adult life of the queen. It is generally queens that are underdeveloped that manage to pass through the excluder, or sometimes excluders may have a faulty spot, where their is unintentionally a slightly wider opening - or a combination of both occurs.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
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  3. #62
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    Have you ever seen an unmated virgin queen (sorry for the redundancy) that couldn't pass through a queen excluder? I haven't. But I don't constintely watch.
    Mark Berninghausen

  4. #63
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If they were virgins I wonder why they couldn't fit through the excluder.

    Tattered wings would indicate that worker bees attacked them. I wouldn't assume that worker bees attempted to drag the queens through the excluder.
    We moved her to a mating compartment so I will know if she makes it or not. I don't think any of the virgins made it through the excluder. The hive did not swarm. We also found the mated queen below the excluder. I have seen others mention that the winner of a virgin war sometimes does not come out in very good shape.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  5. #64
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?


  6. #65
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    I had one colony of excessively gentle bees that did very little queen killing. Multiple virgins hatched early one year - day 13 1/2. They did not seem the least inclined to fight on another, nor to sting nor to chew queen cells.

    Other colonies, notably some of my feistier colonies, have come up on Day 15 while I was delayed elsewhere. In one, I found 5 dead and 1 healthy virgin queen (did not see the fight, but I guessed who won), and in another one virgin was stinging a queen cell as I checked. She had apparently already killed 3 sister queens not long before I spotted her.

    It is very likely that Barry has the right idea - different colonies, different strains probably handle the situation differently. This would also explain the non-confirmation of Huber's observations by others.

    I suppose also that whether or not the attacking virgin finds a good soft spot, queen cell wax wall thickness, the vigor of the firstborn virgin, and perhaps the length of her sting all have something to do with the method of sistercide, but this remains to be investigated.

  7. #66
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?



    Skip to 11:50... or just click on this link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...3OTYt2EM#t=709

  8. #67
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    >If they were virgins I wonder why they couldn't fit through the excluder.

    If smoked hard enough I've seen them get through. I've also seen them get stuck, but in general, as mentioned, it's their thorax that stops them and that does not change size.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #68
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    According to the Hive and the honey bee. The newly emerged queen "toots" and the queen in the cell "quacks". Sometimes the new queen just takes a bunch of workers and leaves the hive without killing the other queens. Sometimes she chews a hole in the cell and stings her. If the other queen emerges before the 1st is gone, they will fight to the death.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    I've just finished re-reading this entire thread and I have a question on the feasibility of setting up a mating nuc/queen castle. My top bar hives make queen cells on the edges of the combs very nicely when I pull the queen, say about 10-15 on multiple bars. I don't have enough bees to set up a bunch of cell finishers and mating nucs so I wonder if it is possible to take a 5 frame Lang nuc and transfer the 4 or 5 bars with queen cells to it, and separate each bar with #5 hardware cloth (I was going to cut a queen excluder but I read some places they can get through). I would drill a hole in each side of the box to correspond with the bar so the queen could get out and mate, but leave all but one corked closed until after the cells hatch and harden off.

    The theory would be that the 4 or 5 queens would be isolated from each other and wouldn't be able to get to the other queen cells to sting them. The workers could pass between the combs to feed all of the queen cells and store any collected pollen and honey. After the queens are mated and laying in the one comb they have available to them, they would be passed on to other beekeepers to make nucs.

    This would never work in a colony with frames and Lang boxes. The top bars form the roof for each section. I suppose it could also be done in an 8 or 10 frame box, I just don't have one of them to try it with. I am currently overwintering 2 top bar nucs in 5 frame Lang nucs with a medium box overtop to provide a spot for the syrup jar and/or sugar brick. I know come spring I will have some hives ready to swarm and I thought pulling the bees and comb with queen cells might be a good way to manage them. After the 21-28 days, the hive would get back the comb and worker bees and hopefully feel like they did what they started out to do.

  11. #70
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    Have a question, do worker bees destroy queen cells if emerged virgin queen does not initiate the process?

  12. #71
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by scituatema View Post
    Have a question, do worker bees destroy queen cells if emerged virgin queen does not initiate the process?
    from what I gather from reading this thread, is that no one is absolutely certain. Worker bees certainly do tear down un-hatched queen larvae but I guess we don't really know if the virgin queen has already marked/stung those cells and the workers just carry out the actual destruction. Workers alone in a queenless hive can tear down an introduced queen cell if they are bent on making their own from eggs in the hive.

    My theory on my question above is that the bees that are brought over with the queen cells from my top bar hive were already the workers that were making the queen cells so they would not be inclined to tear them down. In my case, only a hatched virgin queen would be bent on destructions. I'll probably still test my theory this spring, even if I'm told it can't be done, 'cause I'm not sure we have enough evidence/observation to definitively say "who" destroys the cells.

  13. #72
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    >Have a question, do worker bees destroy queen cells if emerged virgin queen does not initiate the process?

    The person who seems to have spent the most time watching was Francis Burnens under the direction of Francis Huber. Huber says in other places that all these experiments were done multiple times:

    "In one of my hives in particular, there were five or six royal cells, each including a nymph. The eldest first underwent its transformation. Scarcely did ten minutes elapse from the time of this young queen leaving her cradle, when she visited the other royal cells still close. She furiously attacked the nearest; and, by dint of labour, succeeded in opening the top: we saw her tearing the silk of the coccoon with, her teeth; but her efforts were probably inadequate to the object, for she abandoned this end of the cell, and began at the other, where she accomplished a larger aperture. When it was sufficiently enlarged, she endeavoured to introduce her belly, and made many exertions until she succeeded in giving her rival a deadly wound with her sting. Then having left the cell, all the bees that had hitherto been spectators of her labour, began to increase the opening, and drew out the dead body of a queen scarcely come from its envelope of a nymph.

    "Meanwhile, the victorious young queen attacked another royal cell, but did not endeavour to introduce her extremity into, it. There was only a royal nymph, and no queen, come to maturity, as in the first cell. In all probability, nymphs of queens inspire their rivals with less animosity; still they do not escape destruction: because, whenever a royal cell has been opened before the proper time, the bees extract the contents in whatever form they may be, whether worm, nymph, or queen. Lastly, the young queen attacked the third cell, but could not succeed in penetrating it. She laboured languidly, and appeared as if exhausted by her first exertions. As we now required queens for some particular experiments, we revolved to remove the other royal cells, yet in safety, to secure them from her fury."

    From my observations in my observation hive, I tend to agree with Huber. The queen kills the other queens in their cells and the workers remove them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #73
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    Default Re: How do queens kill other queens still in the cell?

    No, if the virgin does not initiate the destruction process then the workers will not go around to
    destroy the other queen cells. You see, on a frame of bees not all young larvae will turn into a
    queen cell. There a certain groups of young nurse bees that will start these queen cells within the
    local frame's area. That is why you see certain cells scattered thru out the frame while other cells stick
    together next to each others. The process of how the young nurse bees know which larvae to turn into a
    queen cell is still a mystery to me. It was these localized group of nurse bees that will make, guard and nurture these
    queen cells until they have hatched.
    In my observation a virgin will go around to try to penetrate these defense system onto the groups of nurse
    bees guarding these queen cells. At first these nurse bees would not allow the virgin to go in but eventually have
    to give up since they recognized that she is now the future queen. Then the defense was off and the virgin proceeded to bit
    the side of the cells one at a time and will stung a few times into the cell. After that the workers finished off by tearing down
    the cell. Then the virgin queen will go to the next nearby queen cell repeating her destructive process. As soon as the worker
    bees let her in she got the cells. During this process she does not exert great efforts trying to destroy these cells with the assistant
    of the worker bees. I've seen 4 localized queen cells on an OTS frame got destroyed this way. I did not intervene either and forgot to take my camera
    with me that time on a cell hatch inspection. Wish I did that day.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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