Why????

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by mdunc, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. mdunc

    mdunc New Member

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    OK...quick question. Why do you have to introduce a new queen to a hive but you can take nurse bee's & sealed brood from a strong hive & put it in a weak one without any introduction? Will the nurse bee's not attack the queen in the weak hive?
     
  2. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Because the the queen your attempting to introduce, doesn't have the identifing colony odor. Bees operate on chemical interaction for most things, queen indentification is no exception. Complicated by the possible presence of the old queen pheremone. If they can't identify the queen as their queen they will not immediately accept it even if they lost their own queen was lost. In moderate to weak colonies acceptance comes quicker, less bees to have to figure out that there is a new queen available to them, stronger colonies---many more bees to convince about the newcommer. Newly emerging bees are just that new--colony odor isn't imprinted on them, takes a few days, to week to aquire the colony scent, or atleast is my understanding.
    Barry
     

  3. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    I understand why a new queen can't be immediately released in a hive, but like you, it doesn't make sense to me how a frame of bees can be moved to a different hive without issue. Barry mentioned the scent... you'd think the bees that are being moved would have the queen scent from the old hive imprinted on their brain and would possibly attempt to kill the queen in their new hive because she carries a different odor than what the worker is used to.
     
  4. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Why? Maybe it was a made up practice by a queen introduction cage manufacturer, IDK :???:
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Good question. I up, until recently, always shook off the bees when transferring a frame of brood to a weaker hive. I was always under the impression there would be a massacre of the bees on that frame by the residents of the receiving colony.
    I was reading here though that usually the bees on a frame of brood are nurse bees and would be readily accepted by the receiving colony. I have tried it several times now and unless the "massacre" is immediately cleaned up, I have seen no signs of massive fighting. Just my observation, I don't know why it works.
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    foragers are the fighter, nurse bees are the caregivers. foragers are older bees, and often do guard duty, where colony scent is paramount to figuring out if the next bee comming in belongs to their hive, or a robber bee from another hive. Nurse bees don't normally leave the hive--no need to " prove", their identity and because they emit no " party affiliation ", they are neutral to the colony they are being placed into, therefore a potential asset. My thoughts on the subject.
    Barry
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    what barry said...

    excellent two post barry.. :clap:
     
  8. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Thank you Tec.
    Barry
     
  9. mdunc

    mdunc New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I always did the same as you PerryBee until recently reading a post on here & trying it out. Seemed to work like a charm. I understood the reason for queen introduction just didn't understand the reason why you don't have to do the same for the nurse bees. Thanks Barry
     
  10. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    to add to the great posts here, queens emit a pheromone, and each queen has her own pheromone once introduced and present, that is unique to the hive. if a new queen is being introduced, the old queens pheromone must be absent from the hive for the most part, for the bees to readily accept the new queen's pheremone, or as barry said, accept that queen as their own.

    nurse bees are very young, about 1 week old. their job is to care for the developing larvae in a hive, and have no 'allegiance', biologically this is their 'assigned task' and they will care for the larvae on a frame even if they are placed in another hive. the hive accepts them as their own because these bees do not carry the footprint of the original hive and are completing a necessary, assigned task in the hive.* the bees know they need nurse bees. as nurse bees age, graduate to other tasks, and eventually shift to foraging, the allegiance develops and they identify with the queen's pheromone in the hive.

    *one could equate this to a forager entering a hive not of their own, who is carrying nectar or pollen. they are allowed to enter by the guard bees because they are completing a necessary task of the hive, the gathering of food that helps the colony.
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Let that same worker attempt to enter without pollen or nectar...won't be a good day for that bee.
    Barry
     
  12. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    I learned what Barry is talking about this spring. That's what makes these little insects so interesting.
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    barry~
    "Let that same worker attempt to enter without pollen or nectar...won't be a good day for that bee."

    very, very true barry, the 'code of the hive', no nectar? no pollen? no enter! sort of like "no shoes, no shirt? NO SERVICE! :lol:
     
  14. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    Riverbee, thanks so much for that explanation. I understood the idea of a new queen not being directly released into a new hive. I never understood, though, how a frame of bees could be switched into another hive with no worries. I assumed that the nurse bees would have the scent of the old queen imprinted on the brain and attempt to kill the new queen when they smelled her. I heard the 'how' it works, just now 'why'.
    Thanks!
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    11nick,
    you are welcome, barry's posts were excellent as well. this is the part of the joy of keeping bees, sharing information with many others on this forum that involves and aids the learning process to better understand what we see and what we don't understand, and every keep has a thought process through which experience and knowledge is expressed in many different ways.

    it is good for any of us to learn as you said 'how it works'. what is really essential to understanding bees is asking 'why'; or the 'why's' of honey bee behavior, this will help us make sense of 'how it works' and really, what we all strive for, to be more successful at keeping bees.

    never stop asking 'why'.
    :grin:
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a riverbee snip...
    never stop asking 'why'.

    tecumseh:
    imho a perpetually inquisitive mind is an essential element number one for any modestly good beekeeper. at the very start of modern day beekeeping a person like Huber makes this point about as well as it can be made.

    and as Bertrand Russell suggest don't go confusing the question of why for the question of how? of course Mr Russell's comments were in regards to philosophy and science and although the question of 'why' or 'how' might sound somewhat the same the end results takes you to a much different place.