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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is report based on video recordings of actual mating flights by a young queen.
All days listed had good weather, favorable to the flight.
The actual mating flights occurred on July 5 and 6 (per the research conclusions).
This study also rejects some theories of queens only making TWO flights - one orientation and one mating.

My own comment:
based on the relatively short scouting flights (~8 mins the longest) and short mating flights (~31 mins the longest), it does not appear that queen was flying too far away;
so - IF the mating zones are found nearby, the queen may be using whatever mating opportunities are available nearby (NOT flying many miles away in "search of diversity" as it is often claimed);
flying shorter distances also means less risk - only makes sense from any angle;


Researcher conclusions:
Thus, the analysis of queen outbreaks leads us to the following conclusions:
1) the queen made the first flight at 4 days old;
2) 8 orientation flights were made: in our opinion, flights lasting up to 3 min are orientation flights;
3) 6 search flights were made: we consider that flights from 3 to 8 minutes are mating site search flights;
4) the queen made 2 mating flights: flights lasting more than 8 minutes are likely to be mating;
5) the first mating flight the queen made at the age of 8 days.
Source: Ilyzov, Dark forest bee Apis mellifera mellifera L. of the Republic of Bashkortostan, 2015, pp.105-108.
https://www.researchgate.net/public..._mellifera_L_of_the_Republic_of_Bashkortostan

Description of queen activities per the video recording, "Shulgan-Tash" reserve, 2013.
Date.Time of the exit 9 (hh/mm/ss).Time spent by the entrance (mm/ss).Flight continuation (mm/ss).
6/30No show.--
6/31 (typo?)No show.--
7/117:16:4600:1600:57
7/213:26:1800:0900:52
7/214:05:2700:0900:00
7/214:07:0800:3401:01
7/214:39:2600:1800:00
7/214:42:3900:4303:12
7/215:16:0400:3808:13
7/215:33:1700:0703:47
7/215:45:1500:1703:39
7/313:26:5700:1000:00
7/314:06:5600:5500:20
7/314:35:0700:2000:26
7/413:06:0300:3100:25
7/414:20:5700:4400:00
7/414:22:0100:2101:23
7/414:36:2100:1200:39
7/416:09:1900:2400:50
7/416:22:5500:2308:00
7/515:58:3600:1400:00
7/517:28:0200:2206:25
7/517:39:0400:3718:07
7/617:13:1400:3531:29
7/7No show.--
7/8No show.--
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Kevin, I read the data as only taking maybe three "mating" flights. The others are of too short of duration to get much, um, accomplished. Perhaps the others were orientation flights?

Duh, pays to read the entire post. I went straight to the data and missed the researcher's conclusions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Help me out here so I know what I'm looking at...is this one queen or multiple and if so how many?

If this is one queen are you saying she took 17 flights in 6 days? seriously?
One queen.
17 flights.
6 days.
Seriously.

PS: I think technology now days will debunk many myths that have been retold too many times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kevin, I read the data as only taking maybe three "mating" flights. The others are of too short of duration to get much, um, accomplished. Perhaps the others were orientation flights?
2) 8 orientation flights were made: in our opinion, flights lasting up to 3 min are orientation flights;
That was what the researchers concluded.
Sounds very much logical as for me.
 

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It is a bit of a shock...not because of what we've been led to believe (one or two flights)......but more of the queens exposure to whatever is out there from dragonflies to birds....17....wow....that is a whole lot of exposure for the end all be all hope of a hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, I get it, not everyone can google up the source I am using.
Here is a picture of the video recording setup they did to capture the data.
RecordingQueenMating.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is a bit of a shock...not because of what we've been led to believe (one or two flights)......but more of the queens exposure to whatever is out there from dragonflies to birds....17....wow....that is a whole lot of exposure for the end all be all hope of a hive.
That is another reason to avoid flying TOO FAR - so not to get eaten (if she can help it).

I get it, this is a single study of a single queen.
But - based on normal statistical probability - I would think this behavior is rather normal.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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It is a bit of a shock...not because of what we've been led to believe (one or two flights)......but more of the queens exposure to whatever is out there from dragonflies to birds....17....wow....that is a whole lot of exposure for the end all be all hope of a hive.
It would explain my abysmal number of returned mated queens last summer compared to spring. I had dragonflies and birds everywhere. The odds are much more favorable if she only takes a few flights, but 17 or so? Yikes. It is Russian Roulette every time she ventures forth.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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It is a bit of a shock...not because of what we've been led to believe (one or two flights)......but more of the queens exposure to whatever is out there from dragonflies to birds....17....wow....that is a whole lot of exposure for the end all be all hope of a hive.
It would explain my abysmal number of returned mated queens last summer compared to spring. I had dragonflies and birds everywhere. The odds are much more favorable if she only takes a few flights, but 17 or so? Yikes. It is Russian Roulette every time she ventures forth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It would explain my abysmal number of returned mated queens last summer compared to spring. I had dragonflies and birds everywhere. The odds are much more favorable if she only takes a few flights, but 17 or so? Yikes. It is Russian Roulette every time she ventures forth.
Of course, it can be 5 flights or it can be 25 flights.
We don't know all the nuances of every local situation.
But - for sure, it sounds like way more than 2-3 flights as commonly claimed.
But also - the flights may not be as far as commonly claimed either.

PS: notice - in the study they took care to space out the research mating nucs very well.
 

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That 18 minute and 31 minute flight....they can fly a looong way in that time....the other flights might be just exercising flight muscles, gaining bearings and....locating DCA location...the last two might be the actual mating flights...hmmm
 

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Another interesting aspect is the time of the day...between 1:30PM and 5:30 PM....for all flights.....my bees generally did orientation flights around 3PM each day.... just my own observation.

I was actually testing out my gopro on time lapse yesterday...I wanted to put one on my mating nucs entrance....so this is gives me a good idea of when to set up the camera.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
That 18 minute and 31 minute flight....they can fly a looong way in that time....the other flights might be just exercising flight muscles, gaining bearings and....locating DCA location...the last two might be the actual mating flights...hmmm
Well, it is NOT direct flight there and immediate direct flight back.
Remember?
There is the mating with a bunch of boys to be done too.
Takes a bit of time.

So, there is lots of orientation and scouting to be done beforehand - you don't go into a battle with no intelligence collected.
Bees are not that stupid.
:)
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I wonder if disparity is due to her visiting different DCA's? An 18 minute flight only gives her about a 2 mile range, out, mating, and then back again. At a speed of 15 mph, she could travel .25 miles per minute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wonder if disparity is due to her visiting different DCA's? An 18 minute flight only gives her about a 2 mile range, out, mating, and then back again. At a speed of 15 mph, she could travel .25 miles per minute.
Different DCA?
A possibility - sure.
She did a LOT of risky scouting flights.
Short flights, but a lot of them.
Maybe she scouted out 2-3 DCAs. A good idea - different boys.

The next coolest study would be follow the darn thing using a drone!
Someone should do it.
 

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Greg, I don't have a problem with the data or it's interpretation, mostly because is does not contradict any steadfast beliefs. While in this case, suitable drones were available nearby, there is also a body of evidence that proves the queen will fly much farther to get mated. How many scouting flights would she have had to make to find a DCA over 7 miles away? One has to wonder...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Greg, I don't have a problem with the data or it's interpretation, mostly because is does not contradict any steadfast beliefs. While in this case, suitable drones were available nearby, there is also a body of evidence that proves the queen will fly much farther to get mated. How many scouting flights would she have had to make to find a DCA over 7 miles away? One has to wonder...
Well, I would like to actually see a study formatted like the presented here AND recording the times that correlated with the queen flying 7 miles away. Do you know one? I would like to see those numbers :).

Indeed, imagine scouting out a DCA 7 miles away - how minutes of flight time will that take?
That will NOT be a direct flight either.
One has to wonder how practical and realistic is - finding a DCA 7 miles away just for the fun of it.....

Also, while drones can be considered expandable - the queen isn't.
So - the drones maybe doing the most flying, not the queen.
 
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