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marcros 

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Imagine this... You have a drone laying queen in a hive, merrily laying away, each and every egg male.

For some reason, you want to keep her going. If you were to add frames of eggs from another hive, would the bees be able to recognise that she had not layed them, and attempt to superceed, or would they view the hive as a whole, ie now balanced, and assume that the drone layer had laid everything, and het her survive, as long as new eggs were regularly added to the hive?

I cant quite work out in my mind what would happen.
 

m100 

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For some reason, you want to keep her going
The question is why?

I'd suspect a number of the eggs would be turned into emergency queen cells. After that I'd hazard a guess a queen or a number of them would emerge and after mating the existing one would be superceded. But it's worth a bit of experimenting if you can spare the bees and time
 

Finman 

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The truth is that the colony will be destroyd. They raise drones and they do not get new winter bees.

Those bees which feed larvae, they will not survive over winter.
 

marcros 

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The question is why?

I'd suspect a number of the eggs would be turned into emergency queen cells. After that I'd hazard a guess a queen or a number of them would emerge and after mating the existing one would be superceded. But it's worth a bit of experimenting if you can spare the bees and time
The why is hypethetical. I put it like that so the question of why would you want to do this did not take over the thread, and to understand better how a colony would work, given a particular set of circumstances.

Your suggestion is interesting, and one of the ideas that I had. It suggests that the bees would either recognise the queen as a dud, or the female eggs as not hers. The alternative is they dont supercede, and so assume that all eggs are hers.

Does a fully fertile queen give off different pheremones...?
 

Chris B 

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It all depends on the age of the queen. A young queen will emit more pheromones to inhibit queen cell building. The workers don't apply any sort of logic. If the inhibiting pheromones are absent or weak then workers will make queen cells from any available worker larvae.
It's quite possible, in fact common, for drone laying queens to carry on in a colony until it collapses. The workers make no attempt to supersede her before she runs out of sperm, or afterwards. This is because she is a young enough queen with plenty of pheromones. She just happens to be infertile.

So to answer the question, if you keep topping up the colony with bees and brood it will carry on with the duff queen until she gets old.
 

Finman 

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If you were to add frames of eggs from another hive, would the bees be able to recognise that she had not layed them, .

Bees nurse what ever eggs you give them. Bees will make emergency cells but what do you do with them in winter? Another drone layer?

I do not know what bees think and it is better that I do not know. At least they will not tell.
And listening million opinions - not me.
 

m100 

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It all depends on the age of the queen. A young queen will emit more pheromones to inhibit queen cell building. The workers don't apply any sort of logic. If the inhibiting pheromones are absent or weak then workers will make queen cells from any available worker larvae.
It's quite possible, in fact common, for drone laying queens to carry on in a colony until it collapses. The workers make no attempt to supersede her before she runs out of sperm, or afterwards. This is because she is a young enough queen with plenty of pheromones. She just happens to be infertile.

So to answer the question, if you keep topping up the colony with bees and brood it will carry on with the duff queen until she gets old.
Is this 'answer' proven beyond any doubt and backed by extensive peer reviewed scientific research... or just an educated guess?

A virgin queen has virtually zero pheromones, a poor (inadequate) mating leading to a drone laying queen would in my view be no different to a virgin. Inbreeding leading to diploid drone laying could produce a queen with high levels of pheromones that would be indistinguishable from a 'good' queen, whether the bees can recognise this situation is questionable.
 
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Finman 

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A virgin queen has virtually zero pheromones,.
Of course it has virgins pheromones. So bees know that they have a queen.

.
a poor (inadequate) mating leading to a drone laying queen would in my view be no different to a virgin. .
How do you do that opinion?




I wonder what is so difficult:

If the queen do not mate, it makes drones. Nothing to do with "Poor mating".

It is autumn now and queens cannot mate.

.
 

Chris B 

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m100,

have you ever witnessed the progression of a drone laying queen? She gets mated, starts laying fairly normally, but there's always a few drones mixed in with the workers, and the percentage of drones increases over a few weeks until she only produces drones. I've seen this time and time again, especially the last few years, and never have the workers made the slightest attempt to make a queen cell. They had the opportunity before the queen totally failed, but didn't attempt it.

Read ANY beekeeping book for advice on how to deal with a drone laying queen. Are there any that suggest simply giving worker larvae/eggs? No, because it's not likely to work unless the queen is removed first. (Even then it's better to replace her with a good queen).

Again, read ANY beekeeping text for the information that queen pheromones inhibit queen cell production. So the question is what actually dictates the amount of pheromones produced by a queen? If you're assuming that the quality of a queen's mating is directly linked to pheromone production you would be making a massive assumption. Yes I've also read that virgins don't emit much pheromones, but I suspect that's more to do with sexual maturity rather than lack of sexual activity (just like any animal, sex hormones generate sex drive, but lack of sexual activity doesn't diminish the hormone activity one bit :( )

Hooper suggests it's simply the age of the queen that dictates pheromone levels, and hence supersedure. My own observations are mostly consistent with this view although I reckon there's also a racial dimension because some types of bee supersede more readily.

I'm not sure which bit of my original answer looks like an "educated guess", but I'll take the "educated" bit as a compliment at least. I have taken the trouble to read widely, evaluate and re-evaluate in the light of practical experience.

All the best
Chris
 

Finman 

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I think that queen pheromones have researched tens of times. No value to guess them.

From wikipedia:

[edit] Queen mandibular pheromone (QMP)
QMP, emitted by the queen, is one of the most important sets of pheromones in the bee hive. It affects social behaviour, maintenance of the hive, swarming, mating behaviour, and inhibition of ovary development in worker bees. The effects can be short and/or long term. Some of the chemicals found in QMP are carboxylic acids and aromatic compounds. The following compounds have been shown to be important in retinue attraction of workers to their queen (Slessor, 1988) and other effects.

(E)-9-oxodec-2-enoic acid (9-ODA) - inhibits queen rearing as well as ovarian development in worker bees; strong sexual attractant for drones when on a nuptial flight; critical to worker recognition of the presence of a queen in the hive
(R,E)-(-)-9-hydroxy-2-enoic acid (9-HDA) promotes stability of a swarm, or a "calming" influence
(S,E)-(+)-9-HDA
Methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB)
4-hydroxy-3-methoxy phenylethanol (HVA)
Early work on synthetic pheromones was done by Keith N. Slessor, Lori-ann Kaminski, Gaylord G. S. King, John H. Borden, and Mark L. Winston; their work was patented in 1991. Synthetic queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) is a mixture of five components 9-ODA , (-) isomer (9-HDA), (+) isomer of (9-HDA), HOB and HVA in a ratio of 118:50:22:10:1.

[edit] Queen retinue pheromone (QRP)
The following compounds have also been identified,[7] of which only coniferyl alcohol is found in the mandibular glands. The combination of the 5 QMP compounds and the 4 compounds below is called the Queen Retinue Pheromone (QRP). These nine compounds are important for the retinue attraction of worker bees around their queen.

methyl (Z)-octadec-9-enoate (methyl oleate)
(E)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-prop-2-en-1-ol (coniferyl alcohol)
hexadecan-1-ol
(Z9,Z12,Z15)-octadeca-9,12,15-trienoic acid (linolenic acid)
 

PaleoPerson 

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Thanks Finman, I now have a headache and it will take me a month of Sundays to understand what you just posted. I prefer your replies in Finglish, at least I can pick out all the good info and chuckle (in admiration) at your phraseology.

I now need to have a conversation with my brain and persuade it to tell me what all the bits now mean.....

To quote Homer Simpson "Ok, brain let's get things straight. You don't like me, and i don't like you, so let's do this so i can go back to killing you with beer."

:svengo:
 

Heather 

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Surely the virgin queen exudes pheromones- how else do the drones all home in on her to mate - Its a big old sky up there...:party:
 

PaleoPerson 

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Headache about english national language?

high blood pressure?
No, not a language problem, a learning problem, you now have me looking into all the different types of Pheromone. I did not realise there were so many, where and when they are employed, what and where they are made etc etc. That's what gave me the headache. Very interesting, a small snippet of text can just send you off into a whole new world of discovery.

High BP = Yes
 

jigsaw 

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Any pheromones I release normally results in the "queen" swarming to the spare room.:svengo::svengo::svengo:
 

Samuel 

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I had a drone layer this season - she developed afer I had taken two supers of honey off a hive that had been strong all year - I had stopped them from swarming in spring, after taking the super off I suspect them of swarming - drone layer developed and I put three frames of eggs from other colonies in the hope that they wold re queen themselves but no luck - they dwindled away to nothing. I understand that drone layers are far mor common these days than in the past and are a sysmptom of colony stress, prehaps increases by the presence of varroa - This particular colony had a quite heavy infestation of varroa which I treated as soon as the honey came off early August.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Sam.......
so what will you do when this situation arises again in another colony.
 

PaleoPerson 

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Could the problem have been that the bees wanted to replace the queen (supersede) originally, and this was stopped as part of 'swarm prevention'. The end result was a drone laying queen?
 

Hivemaker. 

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I don't believe a drone laying queen is a symptom of colony stress,its a symptom of an infertile queen,due to age,or poor mating(or no mating) caused by weather,or lack of fertile drones.
Many drones can be infertile because of the varroa treatments used,as well as violation by mites.
Paleo.
Yes the problem can be caused by the beekeeper breaking down supercedure cells,and not identifying the reason the bee's are trying to supercede,but not in all cases,some appear to make no attempt to supercede. Best to also make sure when you kill a drone laying queen that she is the only one in the colony,there could well be a virgin,or queen that has not started to lay in the colony,and if you introduce a new queen she is killed, then you wonder why at the next inspection you have a perfect laying queen,but she's not your new one.Or of course a virgin,or drone layer still.
Use a test comb first.
 
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