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Author Topic: Queen Balling Cage  (Read 1552 times)
Beeswax Bob
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« on: April 03, 2008, 07:31:01 AM »

A queen breeders advice is to allow workers at the release candy after 72 hours, and when the workers are no longer balling the cage.

Would someone let me know what the balling looks like, and how do you distinguish it from inquisitiveness and queen grooming?

Thanks,

Bob
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 07:51:26 AM »

Imagine the bees crowded around the screen where it looks like they are trying to get through the screen, at any cost, even if they have to shred themselves to do it. They will be biting and crowding so tight against the screen that its hard to imagine air being able to get past them. That is how I describe balling, it is similar to how they ball the queen if she weren't in a cage. The degree of this behavior can vary, being more or less intense depending on factors that only the bees know.

It is extremely difficult to remove the bees that are in this mode, without lots of smoke.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 11:38:52 AM by Joseph Clemens » Logged


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Joseph Clemens
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 08:59:45 AM »

Imagine the bees crowded around the screen where it looks like they are trying to get through the screen, at any cost, even if they have to shred themselves to do it. They will be biting and crowding so tight against the screen that its hard to imagine air being able to get past them. That is how I describe balling, it is similar to how they ball the queen if she weren't in a cage. The degree of this behavior can vary, being more or less intense depending on factors that only the bees know.

It is extremely difficult to remove the bees that are in this mode, without smoke.


That is a great explanation Joseph. Here's a picture that may help:

There is a queen in there under that ball, they had balled. The poor thing was piping away. I couln't take it any more and seperated her from them and she went down in between the frames.


...JP
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2008, 09:58:42 AM »

JP, I still think that it was good that you intervened, that queen surely would have perished had you not.  Good.

Jospeh's explanation about the queen balling was good.  Sometimes the bees just don't know what they are doing, and their mob attitude can soon kill that poor queen, when all she wanted to do was head their colony and make babies for them to attend.  I don't get the balling thing, but yes, it happens.  Oh well, maybe they do know something that we don't, but go figure.  Beautiful day in this great life.  Cindi
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 08:02:54 PM »

The bees will be agitated and griping tightly together in a ball.  It will be very difficult to get them off.  They will NOT be relaxed and walking around.
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Beeswax Bob
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2008, 11:05:29 PM »

That sounds ok then. The workers were definitely inquisitive and walking over the cage, as though examining the queen, but they didn't look anything like the above. I even saw the queen 'begging' through the cage and sticking her tongue out through the 'bars'. So I would guess that they were half way to accepting her. I wanted to post a photo, but I don't have enough privileges.

Thanks,

Bob
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2008, 12:10:39 AM »

That sounds ok then. The workers were definitely inquisitive and walking over the cage, as though examining the queen, but they didn't look anything like the above. I even saw the queen 'begging' through the cage and sticking her tongue out through the 'bars'. So I would guess that they were half way to accepting her. I wanted to post a photo, but I don't have enough privileges.

Thanks,

Bob

A few more splits and you should be able to post pics.


...JP
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