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is there any pattern of time of day for queens on mating flights?

1280 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  AR Beekeeper
Just wondering - has anyone observed this enough to know whether queens prefer certain times of day for taking their mating flights? I know that swarms tend to occur in the morning, often around 10 am. It could be useful to know when to avoid disturbing the hive, if there's any chance of a virgin queen being ready to emerge for her flight(s).
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The queens I have see taking mating flights have done so between 1 and 5 pm. They have flown on days when there was little or no wind and there was bright sun.
That time range and weather pattern matches what i've seen when the mated queen comes back. Seen it twice and both times was in the afternoon with no wind and sunny sky.
Swell! I'm waiting for a virgin to take her flight and it's been windy EVERY afternoon :(
I have heard this 10 a.m. thing about swarms. But all of the swarm calls i get come between 2 and 2:30 PM. some later I have never had an a.m. swarm call.
Just watched a swarm come out of one of my nucs this morning at 8:30, was a virgin,,,,,,,Pete
Early in the afternoon on the first pleasant day after the virgin has established that she's the head (according to Langstroth). Bees aren't so good at knowing daylight savings time.
Swarming times will vary from year to year, usually if the first swarm from your apiary is around 10, all the swarms thereafter will be around 10 also. Another interesting habit swarms have is the tendency for swarms on cool days to cluster close to the ground, while swarms that issue on warm/hot day tend to go high in the trees to cluster.
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