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Thread: Apiary vicinity mating

  1. #11
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Further to AVM (apairy vacinity mating) does anyone know of any peer reviewed articles reviewing this phenomena. Seely's name was suggested but I cant find any published material

    I do have coopers book but the descriptions are of second hand observations and I dont beleive they can be reliable

  2. #12
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    If it continues like this the queen will have to mate inside the hive ...

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    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    If it continues like this the queen will have to mate inside the hive ...

    Within hive mating (WHM) - perhaps a cape bee thing which occurs very rarely in Amm where there has been a genetic mix in the distant past or mutation due to environmental chemicals - boggled

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I spoke to Tom Seeley about Apiary Vicinity Mating and he suggested that Dave Tarpy would be the guy to contact about it.

  5. #15
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    sounds like Seeley does not support the theory of AVM or just does not know

    I cant find anything credable that has been peer reviewed to support AVM, Coopers book (1968) records conflicting visual observations from beekeepers but nothing concrete, infact one observation describes a grounded queen being pursued by drones, any account I have heard relates to a small clump of bees on a post or the ground that are mostly if not all workers. Typical absconding behaviour, (bees leave their hive, cluster then move off later if the weather or starvation does not kill them , the same as normal swarming)

    Clearly a lot more detailed observation and supporting evidence is needed to show that mating actually does take place in aimless type swarms circling just yards a few feet off the ground 3-4 meters front of an apidea, nuc box or hive. A video showing the moment of mating, circling of drones should be possible to produce since the event is totally local yet this has never been shown.
    Last edited by busybeephilip; 06-05-2015 at 10:01 PM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by busybeephilip View Post
    sounds like Seeley does not support the theory of AVM or just does not know

    .
    I too, have contacted Seely on this, he does not know what is happening however he does confirm that if a nuc has not enough bees in it they will go out (abscond) with the queen when she flies. So what AVM is is the queen leaving the nuc for the first time taking an orientation flight in front of the nuc doing some local circling with the few bees from the nuc aimlessly following her scent, in other words a minature swarm, which, in some cases, does not return to the nuc and is interpreted as absconding. So, logically, it appears that AVM is not a real queen mating event but an absconding event.

    Is it myth busted ?
    Last edited by busybeephilip; 07-05-2015 at 09:12 AM.

  7. #17
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by busybeephilip View Post
    I too, have contacted Seely on this, he does not know what is happening however he does confirm that if a nuc has not enough bees in it they will go out (abscond) with the queen when she flies.
    I'm sure some of the older books state this in a very matter of fact way -can't think of specifics at present but I may be tempted to search a couple of references out.

    Quote Originally Posted by busybeephillip View Post
    So what AVM is is the queen leaving the nuc for the first time taking an orientation flight in front of the nuc doing some local circling with the few bees from the nuc aimlessly following her scent, in other words a minature swarm, which, in some cases, does not return to the nuc and is interpreted as absconding. So, logically, it appears that AVM is not a real queen mating event but an absconding event.

    Is it myth busted ?
    There are a few references of usurpation among European honey bees -seem to remember the Drone-Ranger mentioning one a week or two ago on this forum.... maybe another natural extension of whatever is happening here.

    Myth busted? Probably best (for the long term health of the bees) if it has been unless the research showing the benefits of mating across a large gene pool is wrong.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by busybeephilip View Post
    Clearly a lot more detailed observation and supporting evidence is needed to show that mating actually does take place in aimless type swarms circling just yards a few feet off the ground 3-4 meters front of an apidea, nuc box or hive.
    If you witness this happening and check 2-3 days later the queen will have just started to lay. I have done that several times which suggests to me that the queen mates during this process.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by busybeephilip View Post
    I too, have contacted Seely on this, he does not know what is happening however he does confirm that if a nuc has not enough bees in it they will go out (abscond) with the queen when she flies. So what AVM is is the queen leaving the nuc for the first time taking an orientation flight in front of the nuc doing some local circling with the few bees from the nuc aimlessly following her scent, in other words a minature swarm, which, in some cases, does not return to the nuc and is interpreted as absconding. So, logically, it appears that AVM is not a real queen mating event but an absconding event.

    Is it myth busted ?
    That is not what I am seeing at all. I have witnessed the bees and queen leaving the apidea, circling around for 10 minutes then returning to the apidea.
    Check 2-3 days later and you find eggs.
    The queen takes several orientation flights before she takes one or more mating flights.
    I have seen queens leaving on orientation flights probably 100 times and I have that on video.
    The mating flight accompanied by a coterie of workers is a different phenomenon.
    The problem with video is that all you see is a small swarm of bees in the air. I have managed to pick out the queen in the air a couple of times as she has a distinctive silhouette and the her wings sound different from either workers or drones.

    .

    Orientation flights can take place from early morning and at low temperatures such as 10c but I only see mating flights take place between 12.30 and about 5.30 when it is a lot warmer.
    Most orientation flights only last a minute or two. If you see the queen leave and you wait, you will often see her come back as well.
    Last edited by Jon; 07-05-2015 at 04:33 PM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    The video shows a queen leaving and returning, could be first flight. Queens leave nucs several times a day to mate so 2-3 days later means very little.

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