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Thread: Ask me anything: Bees

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    How effective is the annual renewal of a third of a colony's brood combs with regards to maintaining/improving colony health?

    My thoughts are that it's akin to washing one (alternate) hand each day.... but I welcome scientific evidence to the contrary.
    I am not sure about that one either and I don't habitually replace comb.
    I do fumigate boxes of spare comb over winter with 80% acetic acid along with apideas and other equipment but the comb is always going to be the biggest disease risk.
    last couple of years I have been removing some comb and letting the bees draw some fresh stuff of their own on frames reinforced by fishing line.

    In the US, the commercial beekeepers irradiate old comb to kill pathogens.

    Here is a fera document on comb replacement

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    Fizzing to reply to this, but had a shandy watching question time.

  3. #13
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    2. How often should I change them?
    There are many opinions as to this question but no brood comb should be used for
    more than three years.

    It would also be interesting to know the who/when/where behind this statement from the fera guidlines which Jon referenced. How was the three year (rather than the 'four year') rule reached? I'm not even convinced about the Bailey comb change idea although I suppose that it must be better than this notion of replacing three or four combs annually.

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    OK here is my question!
    Is there any scientific research papers that shows a good correlation between wing morphometry and DNA analysis in particular Amm

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    OK here is my question!
    You *are* allowed to answer your own questions!

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    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
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    Can I ask about the solitary bees?

    Do both castes of the bees survive through the winter or is it just the female that hibernates? (Am I right to jump to the conclusion that there is no Queen caste for the solitary bee)

    Is the caste in solitary bees determined by an egg being fertilised or not as it is for the honey bee?

  7. #17
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    For the Red Mason bees - and probably most of the others - not even the female survives the winter, just her offspring in the form of a pupa or larva tucked up in its burrow.

    And the gender gets determined by fertilisation or not. Just males and females, no workers of course.

  8. #18
    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    ...... Just males and females, no workers of course.
    of course

    So was the honey bee around before the current social bees species or did they just evolve quicker to a colony set up? I am curious to know whether there is proof that the honey bee evolved from the solitary status or whether it the most likely theory.

  9. #19
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Default Ask me anything: Bees

    All sorts of imponderables there. Academics can and probably do spend careers on such things. I'll bet there are some good papers out there that give some insight.

    For one thing, you get social and parasitic bumble bees. Once you've gone social, is that the only way out, to become parasitic?

    And why do hymenopterans seem to be able to pull off the being social trick? Ants, bees, wasps, termites ..

    Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk

  10. #20
    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
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    The type of imponderables that come along with a glass of wine
    According to one of the speakers at the centenary who was very good (I'm no good with names- sorry) a theory is that humanity could be edging ever more towards the social set up albeit we have several centuries of evolution to go. Personally I don't think we will ever make a good a job of it as our bees have if that is the way we're evolving.

    If honey bees did evolve from from being solitary, I wonder which of their behavioural traits / instincts / body parts could be a throw back to that time and not really relevant for their current needs.

    Could the parasitic bee be a lazy way of becoming being social as well as a way of moving away from it?

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