Monday, May 11, 2009

So Much Going on...Just an Update...

So...first of all...the Queen situation...

I called Busy Bees back today to check on the status of a new queen. Because of the weather they queens have been delayed...we've had a lot of rain and today is actually a little chilly.
It was recommended I get a virgin queen. The drones I already have will end up mating with her. WOW, drones will have something to!

Ok...I know this is a large bit of info below...but oh so very interesting!!!

Virgin queen bee
A virgin queen is a queen bee that has not mated with a drone. Virgins are intermediate in size between workers and mated, laying queens, and are much more active than the latter. They are hard to spot while inspecting a frame, because they run across the comb, climbing over worker bees if necessary, and may even take flight if sufficiently disturbed. Virgin queens can often be found clinging to the walls or corners of a hive during inspections.

Virgin queens appear to have little queen pheromone and often do not appear to be recognized as queens by the workers. A virgin queen in her first few hours after emergence can be placed into the entrance of any queenless hive or nuc and acceptance is usually very good, whereas a mated queen is usually recognized as a stranger and runs a high risk of being killed by the older workers.

When a young virgin queen emerges from a queen cell, she will generally seek out her virgin queen rivals and attempt to kill them. Virgin queens will quickly find and kill (by stinging) any other emerged virgin queen (or be dispatched themselves), as well as any unemerged queens. Queen cells that are opened on the side indicate that a virgin queen was likely killed by a rival virgin queen. When a colony remains in swarm mode after the prime swarm has left, the workers may prevent virgins from fighting and one or several virgins may go with after swarms. Other virgins may stay behind with the remnant of the hive. As many as 21 virgin queens have been counted in a single large swarm. When the after swarm settles into a new home, the virgins will then resume normal behavior and fight to the death until only one remains.
If the prime swarm has a virgin queen and the old queen, the old queen will usually be allowed to live. The old queen continues laying. Within a couple of weeks she will disappear and the former virgin, now mated, will take her place.
Unlike the worker bees, the queen's stinger is not barbed. The queen can sting repeatedly without dying.

Piping (we didn't discuss this in class at all...WOW, I wonder if I'll hear my virgin queen do this???)
Piping describes a noise made by virgin and mated queen bees during certain times of the virgin queens development. Fully developed virgin queens communicate through vibratory signals: "quacking" from virgin queens in their queen cells and "tooting" from queens free in the colony, collectively known as piping. A virgin queen may frequently pipe before she emerges from her cell and for a brief time afterwards. Mated queens may briefly pipe after being released in a hive. The piping sound is variously described as a children's trumpet tooting and quacking. It is quite loud and can be clearly heard outside the hive. The piping sound is created by the flight motor without movement of the wings. The vibration energy is resonated by the thorax.
Piping is most common when there is more than one queen in a hive. It is postulated that the piping is a form of battle cry announcing to competing queens and the workers their willingness to fight. It may also be a signal to the worker bees which queen is the most worthwhile to support.

The piping sound is a G♯ or A♮. The adult queen pipes for a two-second pulse followed by a series of quarter-second toots.[2] The queens of Africanized bees produce more vigorous and frequent bouts of piping.

This information can be found at

BY JOHN MCCANN : The Herald-Sun May 11, 2009

Visit the link above to read the story printed in today's Durham newspaper.

Thanks John McCann for a fantastic article!

I received a phone call this afternoon from a man in Oxford
who said he saw me in the newspaper today.
He said there have been honeybees in one of the walls of the church he attends
for almost 15 years! WOW
When it's warm...the honey pours down the walls onto their carpet.
I explained that I'm a brand new beekeeper but would be happy to help in anyway I can.
So I plan on asking my instructors what the best way to help would be.
The NC Master Beekeeper Program
I'm going to Mr. Pipes house on Wednesday to take my practical test!
Once I pass this hands on test, I'll be a certified beekeeper!
I am so very excited!
I'm going to my first association meeting on Thursday.
I am so very greatful for the helpful of Lynette (one of their members).
She came out and helped me figure out what was going on!
Until the next time everyone...
from my favorite poem my father sent to me while I was living in France...
he told me to apply it to my life.
Desiderata... "Strive to BEE Happy"

1 comment:

  1. Please excuse the formatting of this post. It just won't act right. :)