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Thread: Apiary vicinity mating

  1. #21
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Nice video Jon … looks like the workers chased her out to get some practice for the big day.

  2. #22
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Until there is real evidence of AVM I remain sceptical, perhaps radio tag a virgin queen would be an interesting research propsal

  3. #23
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    That video was shot in the morning at a low temperature and you can see her landing back at the apidea after 30 seconds. That's an orientation flight. You can see her doing the classic orientation movements in the air in front of the apidea. If you have a site with 100 apideas on it and most of them contain virgin queens several days old you will see this on a regular basis.
    Most queens take a single mating flight, sometimes two and very occasionally more than two. There are research paper published on that.
    People who have never witnessed AVM or a mating swarm are likely to argue that it probably does not exist.
    I am a natural skeptic and if there are viable alternative explanations I am happy to accept them but nothing else explains what I see as well as AvM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    There has been work done with RFID transmitters with regard to queen mating.



    Insects 2014, 5(3), 513-527; doi:10.3390/insects5030513
    Article
    Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights
    Ina Monika Margret Heidinger 1,2,*, Marina Doris Meixner 1, Stefan Berg 2 and Ralph Büchler 1

  5. #25
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    I suppose seeing her leave a hive, not get very far and then return with mating sign would be fairly conclusive. I've witnessed what I assumed was avm but not quite as definitive as above because I haven't yet spotted where she left from or see her return with sign, I'd hazard it's a fairly unusual way for mating to occur and so even when one loiters around the mating apiary for days on end actually witnessing it happening takes the luck of the stars aligning.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Pete L says that he sees it too with his Buckfast.
    Yes, several times, but only in the isolated mating mating sites, i don't believe they even form fixed drone congregation areas in some of these places, have seen up to fifteen individual virgins being pursued at high speed by what i would estimate to be anything from 50 to well over 100 drones in each separate group, like the comet description, not seen any workers at all in these groups, just a virgin and drones, it really is like very fast aerial acrobatics, twisting and turning very fast, every angle, even crashing into the ground, willow bushes and even us a couple of times, but up and gone again within a split second, during this time the drone provider colonies are incredibly noisy and active, then all goes quiet for about ten minutes or so at the drone provider hives, same at the mating nucs, ... then it all starts up again, this usually happens several times for around two and a half hours or so in the afternoon, on a reasonably warm day, or even on a very hot day perfect for mating, when checking the mating nucs around six in the evening, after the activities have ceased, many of the queens have the mating sign, drone appendage sticking out from their abdomen. It would appear that only the very fittest and fastest drones get to mate with the virgin queens after observing this.

  7. #27
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    There has been work done with RFID transmitters with regard to queen mating.


    Insects 2014, 5(3), 513-527; doi:10.3390/insects5030513
    Article
    Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights
    Ina Monika Margret Heidinger 1,2,*, Marina Doris Meixner 1, Stefan Berg 2 and Ralph Büchler 1
    An interesting paper. work was done with Am ligusta and if AVM is unique to Am mellifera then there was nothing about it in this paper so possibly confirming that concept. Some of the work would need to be repeated with Amm to prove AVM actually exists. I still remain open minded but solid evidence is required to convince me.
    Phil

  8. #28
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbc View Post
    I suppose seeing her leave a hive, not get very far and then return with mating sign would be fairly conclusive. I've witnessed what I assumed was avm but not quite as definitive as above because I haven't yet spotted where she left from or see her return with sign, I'd hazard it's a fairly unusual way for mating to occur and so even when one loiters around the mating apiary for days on end actually witnessing it happening takes the luck of the stars aligning.
    If you freeze frame when she returns there is no mating sign visible

  9. #29
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    That was definitely an orientation flight mating sign or no mating sign. She was only out of the Apidea for 30 seconds.
    The apidea was in my front garden and the virgin was not old enough to take a mating flight.
    Orientation flights can start from about 4 days after emergence and mating flights from about 6 days onwards.
    The earliest I have ever seen eggs is 8 days from emergence which suggests mating around day 6.

    I have seen queens return to an apidea showing a mating sign a couple of times but never managed to get a photo.
    These were not queens I saw mating locally, just queens returning after a flight to who knows where.

  10. #30
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by busybeephilip View Post
    Some of the work would need to be repeated with Amm to prove AVM actually exists
    One thing that strikes me about this is the apparent lack of reference to such activity by the old (eighteenth and early nineteenth century) beekeepers some of whom were plainly astute observers with more than a handful of colonies.

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