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Author Topic: How fast a queen is killed  (Read 2072 times)
BjornBee
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« on: February 24, 2009, 09:20:38 AM »

Many people are concerned about things like balling, if the queen is not accepted right away, etc.

I have stated in the past, especially with balling, that if the bees wanted a queen dead, they would kill her very rapidly. And if you see balling, close up the hive and wait a few days. Chances are the queen will do fine. Do not attempt to catch her, recage her, or anything else. (This of course assume you did your job and reasons like a second queen in the hive was not true.)


I once had a hive that had swarms cells opening up as I lifted the frames. I caught about 8 virgin queens. I lifted one of the frames, and there were two queens walking towards each other. I thought to myself, this will be interesting. I never seen two queen go at it. So there they are, walking towards each other, and almost as if you would pass someone walking on the street, and catch a glimpse of a familiar face and do a double take, that is what the queens did. They kind of were passing each other, and you could see a split second hesitation....then they went at it.

And boy what a disappointment! The fight last no more than two seconds. The one queen was all over the other and as soon as the other queen was stung, they quickly separated. The one queen walked away. The other started twitching, and the end came swiftly.

What a waste. If I knew that was going to happen, I would caught one of the queens.

Seems queens, perhaps unlike two workers going at it and struggling for what seems a minute of more, has little defense strategies. They are large and present little defense. They can be killed within seconds.

Remember that the next time you see bees balling a queen. If they wanted her dead...they would kill her just as fast.

Just a rambling on a cold day..... grin
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 09:59:17 AM »

That is great insight.  I had a queen die in my OB hive this year from what I expect was overheating by the cluster.  I moved an old frame out (new beek mistake), this upset the bees, the bees moved down to the bottom of the hive and formed a cluster.  Next day the queen was dead lying on the bottom underneath the cluster.  It made me physical ill!
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Stephen Stewart
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 11:32:11 AM »

I imagine balling is not good though, if they didn't like her why would they do it in the first place?


...JP
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Shawn
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 11:58:47 AM »

Good info. I have decided to take the easy route and let the bees do everything themselves, make new queens. I really liked the Purvis queens but I would like for them to be natural.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2009, 12:48:39 PM »

Good observation...but don't the queens have different stingers than the workers, and this would make it easier for a queen to kill a queen?

Another thought...if so, why do they need to ball wasps and bumbles?

I have not had the unique experience of watching them ball a queen, and if I had, I don't know what I'd do....

Rick
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 01:00:09 PM »

Good observation...but don't the queens have different stingers than the workers, and this would make it easier for a queen to kill a queen?

Another thought...if so, why do they need to ball wasps and bumbles?

I have not had the unique experience of watching them ball a queen, and if I had, I don't know what I'd do....

Rick

Rick, queen's stingers are not serrated like workers and are longer and more wasp like. They can sting over and again like wasps.

They ball to kill and some species even to raise the internal temp of the ball to kill with heat, fry their victims if you will. There is an Asian strain that balls giant hornets and literally fries them with elevated heat that the giant hornet cannot withstand.


...JP
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009, 01:17:25 PM »

This past fall when I did a powdered sugar dusting on one hive, immediately after a huge amount of bees came out the top entrance and clustered there for a couple of hours. I didn't feel good about this cluster at all and wondered if they were blaming the queen for the intrusion and trying to kill her. Well this hive was a very strong hive right up to this point and then they started to act strange after that. They did not build up properly and when I gave them the sugar syrup they took only a little of this. I had to give them frames of honey from my other hive

I had a bad feeling about this hive and wondered if they lost the queen,  but let them go into the winter as it was really to late to do anything. Well this is the hive that died last month and I found the cluster with the marked queen in the middle. I was surprised to see the queen there as I thought they may have killed her.

So perhaps they injured her???  Or perhaps the cluster did not have anything to do with her at all??
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2009, 01:31:49 PM »

anette
 I wonder if they elevated her temp and damaged her ovaries?  kinda like fever can cause different problems in us.
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Stephen Stewart
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009, 01:42:38 PM »

Couple of pics of bees that balled a queen. I pulled them apart and got the queen out and caged her.






...JP

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BjornBee
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009, 02:15:14 PM »

JP,
What were the circumstances that caused the balling?

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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2009, 03:21:15 PM »

Did you wear gloves to get them apart?  If not, did you get stung?
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 06:12:39 PM »

I had a queen balling take place when two swarms went for the same box it was an amazing thing to watch. Eventually one swarm left. The other settled in.

During the fight I saw the queen land on the entrance. There were other bees wrestling. Then about 40 bees just surrounded her and she moved about with the ball. Other bees attacked the ball. It was very dramatic. But it was also pretty quick it only lasted a few minutes.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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JP
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 06:13:54 PM »

JP,
What were the circumstances that caused the balling?




If I remember correctly I combined a weak hive with a swarm, news paper method. The queen was from the swarm as I could easily recognize her markings.

I may have thought the weaker hive was queenless or I just was doing an experiment to see what would happen, I was so busy then, it was a spur of the moment type of thing.


from Armucheebee "Did you wear gloves to get them apart?  If not, did you get stung?"

Did not use gloves and didn't get stung.


Here she is, sorry, a little blurry


...JP

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TwT
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2009, 07:17:37 PM »



During the fight I saw the queen land on the entrance. There were other bees wrestling. Then about 40 bees just surrounded her and she moved about with the ball. Other bees attacked the ball. It was very dramatic. But it was also pretty quick it only lasted a few minutes.

Sincerely,
Brendhan



sounds like they were defending her. I have heard of AHB doing this when they take over a European hive. think it was in a Bee culture magazine in 06?
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