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I thought I read somewhere recently of the queen taking several mating flights. Is there published material re this?
 

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Books and magazine articles. Suggest a web search. Is there something specific you were interested in concerning mating habits of queen honeybees?
 

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I'm sure there is much. Here is the first one I know of:

" Thus, we allowed the queen to leave the hive. She departed, indeed, but made four and twenty fruitless attempts before returning with the evidence of fecundation. Finally, on the thirty-first of October, she was more fortunate: She departed and returned with the most undoubted proof of the success of her amours"--New Observations on the Natural History Of Bees Volume I, Letter III, by François Huber
 

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You may find this study useful:

Causes of repeated mating flights by queen honeybees
Journal of Apiculture Research (1964)
http://jerzy_woyke.users.sggw.pl/causesmat1964.pdf

"Observations were made on 2434 flights of 628 queens. Of 303 once-inseminated queens left alive for further observations, 63% flew again and 38% mated on a second flight; 8% of the queens flew yet again, and 6% were inseminated a third time."

The scientists even counted the average number of sperms received in each flight, concluding that "the amount of sperm from the first mating flight influences the likelihood of a second flight and successive matings."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You may find this study useful:

Causes of repeated mating flights by queen honeybees
Journal of Apiculture Research (1964)
http://jerzy_woyke.users.sggw.pl/causesmat1964.pdf

"Observations were made on 2434 flights of 628 queens. Of 303 once-inseminated queens left alive for further observations, 63% flew again and 38% mated on a second flight; 8% of the queens flew yet again, and 6% were inseminated a third time."

The scientists even counted the average number of sperms received in each flight, concluding that "the amount of sperm from the first mating flight influences the likelihood of a second flight and successive matings."
Thanks Jeanette. That was the exact information I was seeking.
 

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Wow thanks for all that fascinating info. I didn't know that a queen might leave as many as 24 times.

The paper linked by Jeanette was interesting, plus very thorough. I see it was pre varroa though, I wonder how that will have changed things with less drones, and less semen per drone.
 
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