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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I had something unusual to ask. I doubt anyone has asked anything like this in a while.

I had 2 five frame nucs near each other. very close. No problems with robbing right now. Entrances are tight etc.

But...

One of them lost their queen right after she started laying. She was lost so fast they had time to do a few queen cells and then gone. I check and she's gone.

My question is, is it possible for a colony to reject a new queen if the queen in the colony next to them seems better to them? Is this possible? And could they smell the next box about 2 feet away and tell which is stronger and for this to happen?

It brings into question how far away they can smell their queen or other queens also I guess. Anyway it seemed really interesting to think about.

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

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The answer your looking for in short is no, this is not something that can be explained on a forum as it would be like typing a small book, on queen bee pheromones, and worker pheromones, along with quite a bit of evidence of brood producing pheromones. Many of these pheromones there is still little known about. Although on the queen side (9ODA & 9HDA) would probably be worth a look in the answer to your question. These and mandibular secretions, In studies queens without mandibular glands lost 85% of attractiveness to workers when introduced. (Gary, 1961b; Velthuis and van Es, 1964) Suggesting the mandibular secretions are perhaps the most important component attracting workers to queen. That said there is evidence showing age is a factor, not just successful mating. There’s a lot more we need to learn.
Cody
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The answer your looking for in short is no, this is not something that can be explained on a forum as it would be like typing a small book, on queen bee pheromones, and worker pheromones, along with quite a bit of evidence of brood producing pheromones. Many of these pheromones there is still little known about. Although on the queen side (9ODA & 9HDA) would probably be worth a look in the answer to your question. These and mandibular secretions, In studies queens without mandibular glands lost 85% of attractiveness to workers when introduced. (Gary, 1961b; Velthuis and van Es, 1964) Suggesting the mandibular secretions are perhaps the most important component attracting workers to queen. That said there is evidence showing age is a factor, not just successful mating. There’s a lot more we need to learn.
Cody
Thank you.
 

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I've run nucs side by side many seasons, and I've never had a queen jump ship or be rejected. What does happen occasionally, is that bees from a nuc or hive with a weaker queen will slowly migrate over to the hive or nuc with a much stronger queen. And this can happen even if the hives or nucs are not so close as to be considered side by side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've run nucs side by side many seasons, and I've never had a queen jump ship or be rejected. What does happen occasionally, is that bees from a nuc or hive with a weaker queen will slowly migrate over to the hive or nuc with a much stronger queen. And this can happen even if the hives or nucs are not so close as to be considered side by side.
Wow that's quite interesting Ray. Thanks.
 

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It plays into so many variables, drift happens, we also see this in failed hives, however it remains, that all the bees in a failing hive will not leave. We know for a fact that the bees can identify, sisters and half sisters thus defense of hive. We know they can smell each other from a considerable distance. The male drone can identify a virgin queen from up to 60 meters and some believe farther. I mean if you have ever attempted to catch a swarm in a trap, it hinges on the ability of bees to locate pheromones. The biology of the honey bee or rather what we know to be correct or incorrect changes daily. It seems the more knowledge we gain, the greater the reality of just how little we know becomes.
 

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My question is, is it possible for a colony to reject a new queen if the queen in the colony next to them seems better to them? Is this possible? And could they smell the next box about 2 feet away and tell which is stronger and for this to happen?
If it was possible then the queenless nuc would never go laying worker, which it will if you dont put a frame of eggs in it.
 
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