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Thread: Apiary vicinity mating

  1. #31


    Quote Originally Posted by mbc View Post
    actually witnessing it happening takes the luck of the stars aligning.
    Should have bought a lottery ticket! Sunday early afternoon, warm and calm (not me I was panicking about losing swarms) and I noted what seemed like alot of drones around two frame mating nucs and other colonies. Then, not once, not twice but three times in succession, two of the mating nucs and one colony, bees rushing out and creating a swarming effect just above the garden. Bees flopping down on leaves but never congregating into a mass, then after 10-15 minutes lots of fanning and bees return home. I watched but did not see any Qs returning, did not see any drone comets but the timings are all perfect for mating flights. Never seen this before but then I'm maybe not around when this happens. I cannot prove this is AVM but certainly follows descriptions given in this thread. Great to see actually. I will not be disturbing the colonies for at least another week or two.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Norfolk East Anglia, South Scotland


    If queens go out on orientation flights, would the odd drone just "get lucky" and mate with the queen even though she wasn't expecting it to happen I wonder? Or would she not be producing the correct pheromone for mating during these flights?

    Today I have returned home to see a virgin arrive back to a nuc. I had some lunch and had another look and it happened that she arrived back again. I suspect it's too cold for mating here - 15 degrees - but she is up and about at least.

    The view that queens mate over "2 or 3 days" may be true but I have seen it when queens all go up on the one warm day that we've had for weeks and then 2 - 3 days later they have all started laying - so it can happen on one day.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Belfast, N. Ireland
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    There is a paper which looks at the number of mating flights taken. Might have been by Jerzy Woyke but not 100% sure.
    The number varies from 1 to about 5. I think the average number was on the low side, either one or two flights needed.
    Sunday was a perfect mating day here hitting 21c. Sadly the only one of mine who might benefit is a supersedure virgin queen.
    My first batch of grafted queens are due to emerge this Sunday 14th.


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