(DCA's) the honey bees of the British Isles

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

mbc 

Queen Bee
***
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
6,250
Reaction score
943
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national

Murox 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
3,336
Reaction score
1,343
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Hive Type
other
There are definitely areas where drones congregate, usually along hedgerows in my experience, what practical advantage to knowing this I haven't quite figured out.
Oh dear, don't have many hedgerows where I keep bees 🐒
 

Amari 

Queen Bee
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,082
Reaction score
578
Location
Suffolk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
8
I've never seen a DCA since starting beekeeping in 1972. Probably because I've never consciously looked. How easy are they to spot?
 

Curly green finger's 

Apiculturist to the bones!
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
4,209
Reaction score
2,123
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Over 50
I've never seen a DCA since starting beekeeping in 1972. Probably because I've never consciously looked. How easy are they to spot?
Same here I've seen drones and two queen's heading in a certain direction towards the base of the mynd tried to follow them in the landrover to know avail.
Photo 2 would be more relevant to me having sites at the start of a valley in the middle and at the head and on hills.
When I was on the moors with the bees drones were flying South towards the head of the valley between two hills and the edge of woodland.
The drones and queen's I've seen flying towards the base of the mynd was a small woodland of about 30 acres either side of the woodland are valleys the one to the right is two miles long 16379350085677183562814639627163.jpg
Apologies for the ruff sketch but maybe give you some idea.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,709
Reaction score
6,142
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
Attach a feather to your queens?
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,709
Reaction score
6,142
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
Thethered and controlled aloft via balloons and a fishing rod?? :cool::LOL:
No. That won’t find you a DCA. The drones will come to your tethered queen.
I meant attach a feather so you can follow your queen more than ten feet.
 

Apiarist 

House Bee
***
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
113
Reaction score
52
Location
Northern Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
too many for one apiary
Yes, I wouldn't think that a Tethered Queen and the sudden appearance of Drones behind her would indicate a DCA... but wouldn't those Drones be attempting to mate with the Tethered Queen? And therefore wouldn't it also (maybe) mean that there could be matings occurring between the Virgin Queens apidea and the DCA to which she is headed?

IF that does happen then it may increase the likelihood of inbreeding as many beekeepers keep their apideas in the same apiary where the Mother of the Virgins are and all the hives in the apiary are often closely related..
.. just thinking out loud....continueing with this idea...
IF one was to ensure that the hives in the apiary were not related to the Virgins in the apideas and you increased the numbers of Drones in these unrelated hives, then it may assist in controlling the mating somewhat, in that you could try and influence the Drones that the Virgins mate with, etc.

It's been estimated that the first and second Drones that a Queen mates with will contribute just under 50% of the total spermatozoa which the spermatheca will receive by the end of that day (no matter how many more Drones she later mates with in that flight), meaning that the first couple of Drones that she mates with have a disproportionate influence on the genetics of the colony that she will create).
 

Curly green finger's 

Apiculturist to the bones!
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
4,209
Reaction score
2,123
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Over 50
No. That won’t find you a DCA. The drones will come to your tethered queen.
I meant attach a feather so you can follow your queen more than ten feet.
So visually I would see her for longer?
And it would slow her down so I would have chance to follow for longer?
Can you illuminate please.
 

rook66 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
293
Reaction score
30
Location
uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
30
So visually I would see her for longer?
And it would slow her down so I would have chance to follow for longer?
Can you illuminate please.
Dcas pre date apiaries, under natural conditions colonies would be dispersed according to viability of the area. The development of modern beekeeping has confused things somewhat
 
Last edited:

rolande 

Field Bee
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
789
Reaction score
528
Hive Type
other
Dcas pre date apiaries, under natural conditions colonies would be dispersed according to viability of the area. The development of modern beekeeping has confused things somewhat
Exactly. No doubt its also led to the dubious claims of AVM being a trait of some (one?) subspecies.
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
***
Beekeeping Sponsor
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
6,250
Reaction score
943
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
Exactly. No doubt its also led to the dubious claims of AVM being a trait of some (one?) subspecies.
Not dubious at all, unless you mean it happens with bees other than Amm.
Anybody who's kept natives for any length of time will probably have observed avm at one time or another, I certainly have.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
24,709
Reaction score
6,142
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
13
So visually I would see her for longer?
And it would slow her down so I would have chance to follow for longer?
Can you illuminate please.
I was jesting. The idea of trying to follow a queen to see where she mates is absurd. I've chased a swarm which is a darn sight bigger and lost it pretty quickly.
Didn't they used to track Asian Hornets with a feather? Or am I confused?
 

rolande 

Field Bee
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
789
Reaction score
528
Hive Type
other
Not dubious at all, unless you mean it happens with bees other than Amm.
Anybody who's kept natives for any length of time will probably have observed avm at one time or another, I certainly have.
But as an artifact of unnatural concentrations of colonies rather than naturally dispersed sites?

Maybe we'll get some indepth research on this subject one day. As @Apiarist mentioned (not necessarily in this context - I don't wish to ascribe a different meaning to his post):

It's been estimated that the first and second Drones that a Queen mates with will contribute just under 50% of the total spermatozoa which the spermatheca will receive by the end of that day (no matter how many more Drones she later mates with in that flight), meaning that the first couple of Drones that she mates with have a disproportionate influence on the genetics of the colony that she will create).
The AVM thing doesn't seem to fit the bees natural instinct to out cross, at least, not as I understand it. As I said to Jon G so many times on the old Scottish forum, if better/deeper research on the subject is presented then I'll acknowledge my mistake (but I still wouldn't use AVM as a selling point if I was trying to build a queen rearing business).
 
  • Like
Reactions: mbc

Latest posts

Top