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Author Topic: ?'s on "mating sign"  (Read 547 times)
windfall
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« on: June 07, 2012, 06:37:07 PM »

How long after mating does "mating sign" remain visible on the queen? Hours, Days??? I have read reference to it before but never seen it in the hives.

This evening I noted what I believe is "mating sign" on the new queen in our Observation hive. As said it was something I have not seen before but it appears to match images I found online after viewing.
This was fun, as we have been anxiously awaiting something to happen for the last week, but the weather has been garbage. Today was beautiful, so I guess she decided to get out. As did 2 large swarms that issued from another hive(s) and settled 60+ feet up in the woods...ARGG!!, but that is a separate story and not so much fun.

Hopefully eggs will be appearing shortly.

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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 09:37:38 PM »

The mating sign is a severed everted male organ which is pulled out by workers I am sure pretty quickly after her return.  How long dod you observe it?  What an opportunity you had!
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windfall
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 01:14:48 PM »

Thanks Vance,
I knew what it was, I just did not know how quickly it was removed. Found some reading last night that pretty much said what you did...removed shortly after return, so I guess she had not been back all that long. This AM no evidence remained.

Earlier yesterday there had been a period of intense activity at the OB hive entrance, and when I uncovered it the Bees were simply frantic, and we could not find the queen. It was a few hours later that we looked again and saw her with the mating sign. She was easy to find,there was a mad circle all around her and over her. My wife had noticed a similar "ball" 2 days before and now we wonder if it is associated with return from the mating flights....this is way beyond the normal ring of attendants.

Also wondering if the frantic period we caught early yesterday afternoon was associated with her departure or return. Perhaps to allow her to hide in numbers while exiting?
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Vance G
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 02:50:32 PM »

Hey Thanks!  That is interesting stuff!  I am jealous of your observation hive.   Maybe I can build one next winter. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 02:52:42 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm#appendix

If the workers do not remove it in a matter of minutes after she returns, the queen will remove it herself.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
windfall
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 05:50:04 PM »

Thanks for the more refined timeline Michael.
I suppose I was quite lucky to observe this given the short time it remains. Although I must say that during the 5 min I was watching I saw neither the queen nor the workers make any noticeable efforts directed at removal. I would have watched longer but the kids required attention....
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