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Queenless state (orphanhood) of bees' family and its definition.

Contributed by: individual researcher

Beekeepers constantly face this question. They are always trying to understand, does the family have the queen, or if the family has lost the queen. And, this is a very serious question for most of them...
Queenless state (orphanhood) of bees' family and its definition.
Let's clarify this situation. The state of orphanhood, or "queenless", in the family of bees is a phrase, invented by people, for explanation of their own understanding (or rather, miscomprehension) of what happens in the family of bees.

For bees, there is no such thing as "queenless". The family NEVER, except for maybe 1-2 hours, stays without a queen. This is the time interval for which a young queen can leave the hive for a mating flight. NOT MORE!!!

The rest of the time, the queen exists in the family... no matter whether you like this or not. If the family has an open brood, the family immediately begins to restore the queen, using larvae of worker bees of a certain age, and the family obtains a few potential queens, sometime a few dozens of potential queens. If there is no open brood, then, after long attempts to find it, and general anxiety of the family, worker bees begin to lay unfertilised eggs, in fact, partially being turned into queens.

The result, of course, will be different ... in one case the family will survive, and in the second it will die, but maybe it will transmit its genes through the drones, which will grow up from unfertilised eggs.

Thus, after the loss of the queen by the family, naturally or artificially, after a short time of waiting for the return of the old queen, and a period of anxiety, the family begins to restore its queen, using larvae. Once this decision is taken, inspection of brood is made, and the brood is perfectly fed before restoration of the queen; then the bees calm down and continue to do their usual work. After a while, such a family is almost no different from the bees' family with a foetal queen. After all, the queen will be restored, and there are no reasons for excitement.

That is why, none of the modes of our device Apivox Smart Monitor, and no other device, can show so-called "queenless" state of the family at any time, when beekeepers want to recognise it. It is possible only if you happen upon the interval between her loss and the laying of queen cells by the bees. This interval lasts about an hour or two. When the queen is 'deleted' by you personally, and the process of control starts right after this, the result will be received unambiguously. The same happens when you divide the family in half, without looking for the queen.

In any other case, in the presence of a brood in the family, it is no different for bees, between foetal queen and future queen or queens, which are still situated in queen cells. The queen exists in the family, and there is nothing to worry about. And, there is no big difference between the family with a foetal queen, and the family with the queen or queens, situated in queen cells, for vibro-acoustic control. After some time, bees continue to emit the same signals, as if nothing had happened in their family.



    individual researcher


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  • Spain, United Kingdom, United States


beekeeping, bee, apicultura
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