Mating flight

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House Bee
Jun 14, 2009
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Hive Type
When the Queen leaves the hive to go on her mating flight, do worker bees fly with her? If so, how many and do they return with her? Just wondering how she manages to find her way back or not!!
Recent reading seems to suggest that she has an escort/entourage that seems to take some responsibility for assuring a safe return.
the foragers do escort the queen on her mating flights as they are able to show her the way back to the hive after enjoying herself.
What period of time is required for successful mating? Since emerging we have had 2 or 3 days where there has been an hour or so of warm sunshine and last Monday we had a whole afternoon of +20C. Is this likely to be enough?
Well as things seem to have changed as in this busines of an escort of workers this may or may not be right now.

In my experience the Queens Know where home is. Or at least before the first move they do. I know this as I have had several experiences iwth flighty queens who have flown and returned.

My experience is that queens need to be about a week old before they will fly to mate. They can also successfully mate at a month old but that is not so usual.

Patience pays.