Winter Queen laying study

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jezd 

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anyone know of papers/studys that look into when queens start laying in Winter in the UK?

thanks

Jez
 

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Been searching on that one and all that is coming up is the usual anecdotal stuff.

When Craibstone was doing it's wintering research the thermocouples showed (from memory so anecdotal) temperature increases in late Jan ealry Feb but mind that was Aberdeenshire.

The temp rises were taken to be connected with the commencement of brood rearing.

PH
 

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A lenghtening day tells to bees that spring is coming.

Here in Finland my hives start sometimes brooding in February even if temp is -15C. I can see the age of brood in Marsh when I have opened some hives after cleansing flights. First the brood area is small, some tens cells. Area is porous, and it tells that part of larvae has been eaten.


The brooding may stop too when pollen in the hive is finish.

Cleasing flight is in South Finland 10.3-25.3. It means that it is full sun and temp +5C above snow.
 
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drstitson 

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this is what i'd picked up

"Brood rearing starts soon after the winter solstice – initiated by increasing day length – but most colonies do not begin to increase until late March or April. The population decreases as bees die from old age – and increases as brood develops. "

wrt scientific papers:

Journal of Theoretical Biology
Volume 128, Issue 3, 7 October 1987, Pages 329-337

Why honeybees rear brood in winter. A theoretical study of the water conditions in the winter cluster of the honeybee, Apis mellifera
Stig W. Omholta

aN-6530 Bruhagen, Norway

A model is presented describing the water conditions in the winter cluster of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. It is based on a specific view of how the thermoregulation of the winter cluster is accomplished. It assumes that the apparently coordinated thermoregulatory responses of the broodless winter cluster are results of the individuals' acting behaviourally and physiologically to regulate their own body temperature. The results include predictions about radial distribution of water evaporation and accumulation per bee, and cluster humidity, as a function of ambient temperature. The main conclusion is that the phenomenon of brood rearing in the winter cluster is likely to be a strategy which the bees have adopted in order to reduce their own water content when this has reached a specific level.
 

Eyeman 

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Journal of Theoretical Biology
Volume 128, Issue 3, 7 October 1987, Pages 329-337

Why honeybees rear brood in winter. A theoretical study of the water conditions in the winter cluster of the honeybee, Apis mellifera
This is an interesting paper- my concern is why the literature has remained quite for 23 years!!
Alec
 

jezd 

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A theoretical study.
thanks, agree, I was interested in getting past the anecdotal stuff of 'yes, queens start laying from late December' and wondered if any trials had been done by examination of colonies but maybe not.

I guess Finmans analysis of spring colonies helps to age the bees and what happened but it does not show UK conditions or if queens really do lay as early as December. For example this weeks warmer weather in the UK may have kicked off a tiny amount of laying in stronger hives/or small nucs.

taaaa
 
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Hivemaker. 

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Depends on a few things,strain of bee,location,supply of pollen,weather,and some will often have brood present all through some winters.
 

jezd 

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I know, but there is nothing study wise to confirm this
 

jezd 

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lol curiosity, nothing more
 

jezd 

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Much better, so much so that I have time to read up for a change.

Bees doing well so far but its still early days.

Was still late getting things done into Autumn this year, if there is one thing that hit home it was dont fanny around after July, just get on with the job list and get the bees fed!!

Also want to get a bit smarter around the heather activity.
 

Hombre 

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I was late in preparing for winter, so that's something that needs to change next year, but I wasn't alone in that . . .

Good to hear it's all going well with you. A bit of 'positive' queen rearing in 2011 for spares I think.

I have a slack handful of thermistors, a few electret mic's and LM355 devices, I must implement something in the garden next year.
 

oliver90owner 

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Hombre,

Without looking, unless the LM355 is a comparator or op amp (and I thought it was a timer), I would suggest a few 741's might come in handy too.

BC 107's, 8's, and 9's, are my usual fodder. Ran out of glass thermistors years ago.

Regards, RAB
 

Hombre 

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Hi RAB,

Correction, LM35, a temperature sensing IC, junction diode with the junction tailored to produce a linear 10mv/degree C.

Ideally used to calibrate a thermistor and produce a lookup table to allow use of the much cheaper thermistors for temperature measurement if a number of sensors are required and cost is therefore a consideration.

The Maxim DS18B20 is also an interesting device, but has a steeper learning curve and over head. All good stuff for the grey cells of course.

Prefer TL072 to LF351 or LM741.

The thermistors I have today seem to be ceramic bead and not the glass bead from 1970s, they look very like a small disk ceramic capacitor.
 
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oliver90owner 

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ceramic bead and not the glass bead from 1970s,

Now you know the age of my bits and pieces of electronic gadgetry.

Regards, RAB
 

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