Mating Flight(s)

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by Barry Tolson, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Barry Tolson

    Barry Tolson New Member

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    I have a couple of queens that are due to go on their mating flights sometime in the next few days. The hope is to be able to witness this. Can anyone tell me what this event looks like? Is it fairly obvious when it happens...perhaps looking like a small swarm or something? Do nearby hives react in any visible way? I envision loads of drones hightailing it out of their hives yelling woo-hoo!(totally unaware of the awful fate that awaites them) With 15 hours or so of daylight right now, I think I will be lucky to be able to see this.
    Thanks
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Boy, I don't know, I think you would have to be pretty lucky to witness one. I believe I read on a thread somewhere years ago someone was watching their hive entrance and actually saw a queen land and go in. That in itself would be something rare to see.
    Good luck! (and if you are gonna try, don't forget to take pics, they could end up being valuable) ;)
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    this typically happens in the early afternoon (2 ish). it is not really much of a 'wow' event. a lot of time the workers shove the young virgin out the front door and then she flies along at ground level for some ways to get some distance from her own hive. the drone congregation areas are never obvious but sometimes due to the hum of the drones you can kind of know where they are.

    I would not expect to see a lot. about the most obvious events is 'afterwards' there is often a sizeable clump of bees around the front entry.
     
  4. LtlWilli

    LtlWilli New Member

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    The "afterwards" event that follows may just be a baby shower for the new mother to be. She'll deserve it soon enough.
    LtlWilli
     
  5. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    What you may notice, if you payshently (not spelled correctly, but sounds right) wait watching the hive entrance, is mating sign. When the queen returns from her flight she may still have the remains of the last drones genatils sticking out of her rear end.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    For those of you who would like to really follow this procedure "live", there is nothing better than a glass hive. (Not the actual mating but the going of the virgin queen and her return and development after mating)
    It can be kept inside the house on a window sill perpendicular to the window set up so the bees fly in and out without entering the room.
    Then you can follow everything that goes on whenever the spirit moves you. But remember, a glass hive is very sensitive to chilling in a cold room and overheating if exposed to direct sunlight.
    It is too weak to really manage totally on its own or to produce honey, but it is a fascinating show for beekeepers and anyone else too.
     
  7. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    About a year or so back - one of the main journals (ABJ or BeeCulture) did an article on 'comets'. Apparently, as the queen flies and she is pursued by drones - the resulting cloud of bees resembles a comet.

    I'd bet that if you did a google search of the term 'honeybee', 'queen' and 'comet' you might get some pictures which would give you an idea what to look for.