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Mating Ritual?

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thedeaddiplomat 

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Twice today I have watched hundreds - if not a couple of thousand - bees flying in a frenzy over a particular area of my garden. None has stopped for nectar/pollen: just a complete frenzy of flying. This has gone on for a few minutes, then they have all calmed down and gone back into the hive (where there is/should be a virgin queen). Five minutes later you would not know that anything had happened.

Could these have been mating flights? The book says that these might take place at altitudes of 30 - 90 feet. My bees were not this high - but then I do live most of the way up a hill?
 

SixFooter 

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Lots of posts of similar happenings last week. There must be something in the air.

I thought it happened to one of my colonies, but it looks like they swarmed as there were emerging queens when I next opened up the colony. Pretty cool to see them crawl out of the queen cells though. .
 
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thedeaddiplomat 

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Twice today I have watched hundreds - if not a couple of thousand - bees flying in a frenzy over a particular area of my garden. None has stopped for nectar/pollen: just a complete frenzy of flying. This has gone on for a few minutes, then they have all calmed down and gone back into the hive (where there is/should be a virgin queen). Five minutes later you would not know that anything had happened.

Could these have been mating flights? The book says that these might take place at altitudes of 30 - 90 feet. My bees were not this high - but then I do live most of the way up a hill?
Sorry to bang on about this. But they did it again three times this morning. Nothing since. But this evening, I notice that there are large numbers of bees hanging on to the BOTTOM of the hive (OMF). There are still plenty inside the hive (and a queue waiting to get in).

Mating? Cast? Or just fed up with the queue at the entrance?

And ideas gratefully received - I am beginning to think that this game is just too difficult for me!
 

Hombre 

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All very diplomatic I'm sure, but you give us few real clues, beyond the fact that you don't understand quite what is happening . . .

You state that there is or should be a virgin queen in the box. I take it that there are currently no queen cells, open or closed in the box. You will have shaken off the bees to be able to verity this with confidence. Best done very early or late in the day when there is significantly less likelyhood of any virgin's nuptial flights being interrupted or distracted.

If you are 100% confident that there are no new queens emerging then you should be relatively confident that it's not a swarm and so have nothing to fear, although as PH will tell you, bees do nothing invariably. I suspect that the original post elicited not a lot of assistance because you had failed to paint a complete picture and with the forum becoming ever busier, your plight just didn't merit the attention you might othewise have expected.

Moral - help others to help yourself. Don't be vague drink Haig, as they used to say. :)
 

Finman 

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I have tens of virging in my mating nucs every summer and I have seen nothing flights connected to virgin.

Home bees come out to make poo every day at afternoon during hottest time of day. It has been cold days, they come out as soon as sun is shining warmly.


Before mating the virgin makes many orienting flights. Often the queen is absent from the hive, when I open it, but later in the evening it is there again. Mating flights happen too during hotest time of day. The queen has a mating string in its abdomen and you see it mostly 14 -15 a'clock.
During 2-3 days the queen makes several real mating flights and fills its semen tank.
 

Heather 

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My bees were hanging out of the hive the last few days- weather hot- today- all entrances clear. I think the congestion at the entrance was just the weather
 

victor meldrew 

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My bees were hanging out of the hive the last few days- weather hot- today- all entrances clear. I think the congestion at the entrance was just the weather
I remember a prominent English beekeeper visiting OZ!
He was filmed in the back yard of an old ozzie beekeeper. This guy had a hive with bees all over the landing board and up the front . English beekeeper said "I think your bees are about to swarm old man ". "Naw they aint ,it's coz it's too damned warm in there "was the reply :coolgleamA:

John Wilkinson
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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All very diplomatic I'm sure, but you give us few real clues, beyond the fact that you don't understand quite what is happening . . .

You state that there is or should be a virgin queen in the box. I take it that there are currently no queen cells, open or closed in the box. You will have shaken off the bees to be able to verity this with confidence. Best done very early or late in the day when there is significantly less likelyhood of any virgin's nuptial flights being interrupted or distracted.

If you are 100% confident that there are no new queens emerging then you should be relatively confident that it's not a swarm and so have nothing to fear, although as PH will tell you, bees do nothing invariably. I suspect that the original post elicited not a lot of assistance because you had failed to paint a complete picture and with the forum becoming ever busier, your plight just didn't merit the attention you might othewise have expected.

Moral - help others to help yourself. Don't be vague drink Haig, as they used to say. :)
Thank you so much for your advice. I should perhaps have said (got confused, 'cause I had earlier mentioned it in a post on a different thread) that the hive had swarmed on Friday. I had then gone through and removed all but two Queen cells in close proximity to one another. Hence my wondering whether I was dealing with an impending cast - which it can't have been since they are still there!

'Fraid I can't drink Haig any more. Mine's a pink gin (or formaldehyde, depending on how strong I am feeling).:cheers2:
 

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