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Author Topic: Piping mated queen  (Read 1570 times)
bee-nuts
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« on: April 29, 2010, 12:35:41 AM »

I did not know mated queens piped or tooted till today.  I had a colony that built a bunch of queen cups so I added a a box and made two nucs from it.  I also made two nucs from another one that was boiling over with bees.  I did not see anything in the queen cups when I made the nucs last week Tuesday and introduced mated queens in cages in the afternoon.  I went to check today for brood.  The first nuc, second frame I pulled I heard a noise I never heard before.  At first I did not know what to think of it because I have never heard it live or recorded.  After hearing it three times or so I thought thats got to be queen piping.  But I thought only virgin queens did this, not mated queens.  I put my ear to the comb and zeroed in on it and when I looked there she was laying eggs and piping as she went along.  Now I thought what in the world is she doing that for, she is mated.  I looked through all the frames and found that all the queen cups were capped except a couple.  Knowing I had a mated queen I pulled and scraped them all off.  I also found more in anoter nuc and scarped them off.  I found larva in it so I hope the queen is there too.

Did she know they were there or something?  She piped every ten or fifteen seconds the whole ten or fifteen minutes I was in the nuc.  Of course this was the time I choose not to have my cam handy.  Either way it was a cool experience. 
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 02:59:27 AM »

Has this never happened to anyone before?  Im surprised not to get any response.  Oh well.
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RayMarler
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 06:33:02 AM »

Maybe she's piping, waiting to hear an answer from one of those sealed cells. If she hears an answer, she may go and sting the queens. It's what I'm thinking about it.
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 12:20:48 PM »

I thought they piped when in the presence of another queen or queen cell. I picked up a couple of queens from the bee store last week and they placed the cages together in one paper bag. They were piping all the way home. These were mated queens.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 01:20:32 PM »

Maybe she's piping, waiting to hear an answer from one of those sealed cells. If she hears an answer, she may go and sting the queens. It's what I'm thinking about it.

Well this is what Im wondering.  Did she know they were there?  They were just capped.  It was 8 days after I looked in the queen cups and saw nothing but obviously there were eggs in them.  So can a queen sense queen brood?  Even a virgin queen does not produce pheromone for a while. This queen is also the smallest one I have ever seen.  She was barley bigger than the workers.  Just a tad bit bigger.  I dont think I would have ever seen her if she was not giving her self away with the piping.  I have read that sometimes they pipe to try to gain the approval of the colony when more than one queen is present but thats not the case here.  Being that she is so small is it possible that the colony was not to thrilled with her and she was begging them to destroy the queen cells and chose her.  It just seems kind of  odd.  If I had not seen her laying eggs I would have thought she was a virgin because she is so tiny.  Are small queens like this usually poor performers?  If I had known before I orderd queens that I would have my own home raised one I would much rather have big fat juicy queens like the one my girls raised for me last year unless size does not matter but you would think it does.  The bigger should mean larger ovaries, more room for sperm storage and likly larger ability to produce and lay eggs correct?  If a queen can lay her own weight in eggs a day, a small queen is at a disadvantage from the start huh?

Just poking around in the dark here folks.  Looking for opinions.

Annette

My four mated queen were in a battery box together.  Maybe this had something to do with it.
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RayMarler
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 02:17:05 AM »

I agree, it would seem that the larger queens should be the better, should be a good layer longer.  I have heard people say though, that they've had small queens that were great layers, but they never did say, and I didn't ask, how long the queens lasted.
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 04:17:18 AM »

I've heard piping out of one of my hives before, but I think I may have rolled the queen I got with it. Someone has a piping video on you tube.
I couldn't say for sure if it was a mated queen piping that I heard in my own hive.
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Hethen57
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 11:41:11 AM »

I was marking a mated queen last weekend and she was piping away in the roller cage...probably trying to call for help since she must have thought she was being abducted  shocked
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-Mike
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