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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So when a virgin queen hatches, she heads out into the world to mate.
• How long after hatching?
• How does she find the Drone Congregation Area? Does she go with drones from her own hive?
• I've read mixed information on wether or not a queen mates with drones from her own hive. I thought not - unless the hive was isolated, but I've read that drones from her own hive will attempt to mate with her when she flies. Which is it?
• Are they any stats on how often a queen gets killed on her mating flights? Like a percentage? How likely is she to fail to mate and return successfully?
• If a hive has been split and the old queen removed, and the remaining hive is overcrowded and still wants to cast a swarm, when will they do it? After a new queen is mated, or right when she hatches?

I'll probably think of more...

Thanks,

Adam
 

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1. About 4 days
2. Unknown
3. I'm certain it happens, don't sweat it.
4. No stats that are agreed upon. From my findings have been beteen 5-10%
5. A lot of what if's there. If a hive has been split and they don't have a queen but are overpopulated they could swarm as soon as the queen hatches and is ready to fly, the hive is going to do what it wants and they aren't going to send you a memo. The queen could decide to stay and make it her hive too.
 

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The way it works is that the queen finds a DCA and flies around it being pursued by horny drones. The fastest drone gets to mate. Then, after he's fallen away, the next one that's fastest gets to mate. And so on until the queen has had enough for one outing. She may do it again the next day and maybe even a third day. If a drone from her hive is up to the task, I imagine he will get to mate with her. How on earth would she know where the drone comes from? :scratch:
 

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Emerge Adam, emerge. The queen emerges from her cell. Hatching, if you must, happens three days after the egg that will become a queen is layed.

Sure, she might mate w/ drones from the same colony that she issued from. Why not? There is nothing stopping that from happening except perhaps distance from the colony to the DCA. It is believed that DCAs are often established farther away froma colony than a drone will normally fly. According to a lecture I heard in FL at the ABF Conference.

Theoretically queens will fly farther to find a DCA than drones will fly to join one. Also, DCAs are geographically fixed and historic in nature. The DCA's location stays the same for many many years.

How do any of the bees involved find the DCA? Queens or drones. I'm not sure, but I would guess by smell, like so many other things that bees do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Emerge Adam, emerge. The queen emerges from her cell. Hatching, if you must, happens three days after the egg that will become a queen is layed.
Yes, I know Mark. I realized the wording issue after posting, but figured anyone likely to answer my question would also understand what I meant.

The Queen hatches out of her egg, and emerges from her cell.

Adam
 

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Good Adam. I'm glad it is so. I knew what you meant, but I do think that it is important that we use the proper terms when possible. They have value in my opinion. It's like this word "keeper" that I keep seeing used lately. maybe it was used before I heard it last week by the new Director of Plant Industry of NYS Ag&Mkts. But when a person new to beekeeping refers to me as a keeper, not a beekeeper I have to wonder where he got the idea that that was alright or proper. He'd never call a logger a "ger".

That's just who I am I guess. Thanks for putting up w/ me.
 

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He'd never call a logger a "ger".
Remember "I'm a lumberjack and that's ok?"

Just pulling your leg; thanks for the reminder that using correct and specific language lends clarity to discussions,(I learned something) and doesn't have to be done in a derogatory manner. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think there's a lot to proper terminology. Language is always under strain to change, and constantly in flux for a variety of reasons - chief among them is simple (but consistent) misuse.

In the case of a forum such as this, it becomes more important to watch, as there is a good number of readers here (including myself) that are beginners, and look to this forum for an education of sorts. So the proper usage of terms will only serve to create better shared understanding.

On the other hand, with people like Mark around, it'll get picked up and corrected anyway, so we've got at least two kicks at the can to get it right. ;)

Adam
 

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And now to return to the question at hand!!

Do queens really mate?
Is spontaneous generation a thing of the past?
Will Ellen really be off the next American Idol Panel?


What were you asking about?
 

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So what about the king bees? Did they have a sex change to become queen bees, or was women's lib and political correctness somehow involved in getting them called queens?
 

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you dont call a "logger" a "tree logger" because most people know what you are talking about.
In a Beekeeping forum most people would know that a "keeper" is a keeper of bees not a keeper of lions or dragonflies.

frazz
 

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Okay, this may be a dumb question but what is "DCA?"
 

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And how far away from the colony can a DCA be?

Thanks

Dan
 

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Do queens mate with drones from there own hives?
My sister sent me an old beekeeping book from Scotland. In a study he noticed that when a queen issued for a mating flight many drones from her own hive pursued her. Yet, there was no noticeable extra excitement or greater flight of drones from the many neighboring hives in the apiary.
Using this observation, with his bee club, he stocked mini mating nucs with virgins and unrelated drones from a desired source. When mated he concluded the bees were parented by the drones he had stocked by some characteristic he had identified. I recall that he placed the mating nucs in a quarry, and that the nearest apiary was three miles away.
If this study were replicable it would be easier for small scale queen producers to mate queens with desirable drones than having to saturate the area.
I have seen that drones from one hive will drift to another when sugar dusted. Is this happening all the time? We assume that the drones we see in a hive originated in that hive, but how many of them didn't?
 

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Drones are free to "move about the cabin" so to speak. They do move freely from hive to hive and are freely accepted by any hive usually. I've seen a few get roughed up as they landed on the hive, but they mostly just crawl in unopposed. Don't know how many in a particular hive are migratory drones; I would think that the drone population is mostly from the home hive. :D
 

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So when a virgin queen hatches, she heads out into the world to mate... I've read mixed information on wether or not a queen mates with drones from her own hive...
That is hard to say. I've been told drones hang around in several different hives not just the one they were raised in. In that case who knows which hive a drone calls home? I suspect they call whichever hive they are in at the moment home. This gives new meaning to the old phrase "Traveling Man"

Perhaps the drones are scoping out the virgin queens and passing them little hand written notes.... :shhhh: Haveagoodday.
 

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• How long after hatching?
• How does she find the Drone Congregation Area? Does she go with drones from her own hive?
• I've read mixed information on wether or not a queen mates with drones from her own hive. I thought not - unless the hive was isolated, but I've read that drones from her own hive will attempt to mate with her when she flies. Which is it?
• Are they any stats on how often a queen gets killed on her mating flights? Like a percentage? How likely is she to fail to mate and return successfully?
• If a hive has been split and the old queen removed, and the remaining hive is overcrowded and still wants to cast a swarm, when will they do it? After a new queen is mated, or right when she hatches?
Adam

4 days to 3 weeks. if she's not mated by the end of the 3rd week, she's probably going to be a drone layer.

I expect likely by instinct. Not that all virgins will fly there either, if the day is right, she could get mated anywhere. but for congregation areas the new drones know where to go as do the young queens.

As I read in a poem once before "she can't be choosey, in every queen there's a little bit of floozy" she can't determine, while in flight, what drones are mating with her. It comes down to percentages. A queen from a yard of 100 hives is less likely to mate with her brother then a single hive in an isolated area.

The stats would truley depend on year or weather during mating time anyway. during the best weather for mating, you might get 99% at the highest or during poor weather 30% or lower. no one local is the same and there are so many variables to concider to get firm stat.

I've had that happen to me a couple of times. I've noticed that in over crowded singles that raised there own queens. a day or two after the first queen hatches is when they'll throw a swarm, sometimes later, and sometimes with a few virgins per swarm. they might get mated during this flight but sometimes they wait, once again, weather determined.
 
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