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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I had a collection of queens in cages in the car and (again) heard them challenging one another through teir characteristic sounds. I wondered if one could actually attract a queen to come to a spot (thus making it MUCH easier to find her) in a hive through recordings of such challenge sounds. Has anyone tried this and if so what did you actually do and what was the result please? I am thinking that some sort of mini speaker or something could be used. I have limited sight and so don't often find the queen when I am looking for her in my hives. Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge.
 

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That's a very intriguing idea, though I have no idea how it might work.

I wonder if it could also be used in certain hiving situations, because as we all know once you've got the queen in, the rest of the colony's bees will toddle right in after her.

I wonder if the audible part that we can hear is only part of what the queens can perceive. And I wonder whether the "message" contained in the signal contains an element of aggression or hostility (i.e. "Come and see if you can kill me") or whether it is more of just signal of a queen's presence.

Maybe someone with more answers than questions will see this and chime in!

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The part about getting the rest of the bees to follow probably involves a whole lot of chemical pheromones and less sound. Sound would not travel well outside in the open and not far anyway. But smells would.

As far as the sound we hear being only a part of what is being emitted; that is probably true but a good recorded would catch most of the rest of it. I am thinking of the sub-audible communications of elephants that was also discovered by accident through good recordings. I am not sure what the motivation is for the queen putting out that sound but I have heard that queens seem to "find" one another in dark hives and battle it out to the death so that is what made me think that maybe they use sounds.

I did notice yesterday that the sounds do seem to provoke additional activity in the other cages that are nearby but maybe that was only wishful thinking on my part. That's why I was looking for any real experimentation in this area. But thanks a MILLION Nancy for the encouragement.

Anyone?
 

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I don't have any answers but I learned that bees cannot hear, rather they pick up vibrations. Of course sound produces vibrations. So to be more accurate I think you would be talking about frequencies rather than sounds. J
 

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I think it's a great idea - and well-worth experimenting with. Easy enough to do a quick 'suck it and see' - if you 'do a Google' for "honeybee queen piping.mp3" there are several examples online you could download for a quick test. I'm sure there's a lot more to queen sounds than just this - but it would be a start ...

A great idea - keep us posted.
LJ
 

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I have been led to believe that for multiple queens of the same age, the first to emerge pipes, listens for any queens sufficiently mature to reply from within their cells, and promptly kills them when possible. I guess it could be a genetically programmed action with "here I am, come kill me" consequence. But I don't see all communication mechanisms as being ruled out. The description I read offered the opinion that queens too young to reply to the piping would emerge later and that the first-emerged and piping queen would prospectively lead a secondary swarm out into the cruel world if other conditions were favorable.

Michael
 

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Remember reading an old book, "The Keeper of the Bees," and they talked about a "bee drum" used during swarming which called the bees to return. The book is not a reference for beekeeping, more of a turn of the century romantic/religous novel. Not my usual "cuppa," but was once marooned in a cabin for a week with very limited reading material, no tv, and before cell phones.
 

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For anyone interested in such hive sounds, back in the '60s a guy named Eddie Woods developed a beehive listening device he called the Apidictor. There's some info about this at: http://www.dave-cushman.net/elect/apidictor.html and if you do a forum search you'll see that there have been a few threads here over the years related to the Apidictor.

The design itself was updated in 2010 by a guy named Zimmermann, incorporating more modern quad-package op-amps to replace the PNP transistors, and which has an additional output which can be fed to a recording device. This design is called the Apimonitor
LJ
 

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last year I was digging in to Arabian bees.. 5f nuc sized hives, small yeailds, mite resistance, etc
IIRR the made a lot of queens (like in the 100 range) didn't kill each outer and the beekeeper piped at them them to find and pluck out virgins from the hive
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think it's a great idea - and well-worth experimenting with. Easy enough to do a quick 'suck it and see' - if you 'do a Google' for "honeybee queen piping.mp3" there are several examples online you could download for a quick test. I'm sure there's a lot more to queen sounds than just this - but it would be a start ...

A great idea - keep us posted.
LJ
Thanks for the encouragement LJ. Will do.
 
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