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Author Topic: swarm shape - queen right?  (Read 1379 times)
beecanbee
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« on: September 02, 2009, 03:18:32 PM »

With mellifera, can you tell if a queen is in the swarm by the looks of the clump?  With cerana, if the swarm is roughly symmetrical in shape and teardrop in appearance, you have a queen.  If there is no queen, the swarm will be oddly shaped, possibly elongated, or with ribs, etc.  Does swarm shape tell you anything about a mellifera swarm?
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Paul

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David LaFerney
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2009, 08:57:12 PM »

With mellifera, can you tell if a queen is in the swarm by the looks of the clump?  With cerana, if the swarm is roughly symmetrical in shape and teardrop in appearance, you have a queen.  If there is no queen, the swarm will be oddly shaped, possibly elongated, or with ribs, etc.  Does swarm shape tell you anything about a mellifera swarm?

Why would they swarm without a queen?  To reduce the population of the parent hive by commiting mass suicide?
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2009, 09:09:30 PM »

i don't know that i have ever found one without a queen, but i sure have found them with virgin queens, and they don't always make it.  i have found that those swarms with virgins have a much higher number of drones with them. 
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beecanbee
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 02:10:03 AM »

Why would they swarm without a queen? 

Cerana frequently abscond without the queen.  If the queen died and wax moths took over - they abscond and gather into what may look like a swarm, but an ill-shapen one and of no value.  If I upset them thru inspection or harvesting they may swarm (with the queen, along with nurse bees staying behind) - but the clump will be ill-shapen.  However, if it is nicely shaped - I must try to recapture them, since it contains the queen.  If ill-shapen, I don't bother.

The question.... with mellifera can you tell anything about the queen from the appearance of the swarm?
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Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
beecanbee
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2009, 02:30:04 AM »

i don't know that i have ever found one without a queen

Maybe this is the answer to my question... if mellifera generally do not abscond... Maybe any swarm you come across can be assumed to be queen-right?
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Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
bee-nuts
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 02:49:21 AM »

It sounds to me like two different behavior patterns from two different races of bee.  As far as I know millifeera will not swarm/abscond because they are queenless.  They will abscond if conditions are poor, but I dont think they will without a queen.  A hive does sound different when queen-less though.

Maybe someone else knows different.  
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2009, 02:53:54 AM »

beecanbee

How do you house your bees?  Do you use langstroth or similar hives or something completely different.
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beecanbee
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 04:06:19 AM »

beecanbee

How do you house your bees?  Do you use langstroth or similar hives or something completely different.

I am using Langs for the mellifera - but upright boxes (known as AYs) for the cerana.  The AY is like a Lang brood box stood on its side - that is, tall and narrow, ten frame.

I have not yet encountered a mellifera swarm - hence my questions, as I was basing it against my experience with cerana.  I think as bee-nuts said - two different behaviour patters.  Hence I am unlikely to encounter a queenless mellifera swarm (but do so regularly with cerana).
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Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
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