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Session 6 - Queens Sat 29 th /Sun 30 th March 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Session 6 - Queens Sat 29 th /Sun 30 th March 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Session 6 - Queens Sat 29 th /Sun 30 th March 2014

2  Rob Page  Experience

3  Female  Lives for 3-5 years  Mates in early life  Anatomically different to other females  Characterises the colony  After mating only leaves colony when swarming

4 W Q D Egg Fertilisation Unfertilised Brood food - 3days Royal Jelly then Pollen and Honey Extra Brood food - 3days then Extra Pollen & Honey Female larva (Diploid) Male larva (Haploid) Laid in drone cell Laid in worker cell (Parthenogenesis)

5  Egg laid in cup  3 days to hatch  Fed royal jelly from hatching  Fed for 5 days  Gets 1600 visits from workers to feed  cf 150 visits for a worker larva  Cell hangs downward  Food in cell when sealed  Pupal development quite different  Proteins switch on different genes  Emerges after 8 days as pupa 16 Days

6  Accepted into any colony when hatched  4 days to mature  Then fed by workers  Goes on mating flights  First 3 weeks  Stays in hive afterwards  Lays up to 2000 eggs a day  More than body weight  High energy digested food  Egg laying controlled by food intake days

7  Egg laid in large cell  3 days to hatch  Fed brood food for 7 days  Pupates for 14 days  Adult matures for 10 days  Feeds itself  Lives ~3 months  Fed by workers  Dies when mating 24 Days 34 Days

8  Drone collection areas  Pheromone attractants  Drone paralysed  Multiple flights  matings  ~10,000 drones  ~50 m diameter

9  Gentle but robust  Healthy  Disease resistant  Hygienic behaviour  Hard working  Cold weather  opportunists  Large colony  Slow to swarm  Economic in winter

10  Colony characteristics  Queen eggs  Colony characteristics  Drone producers  Selected apiary  Good mating  Constant characteristics  Natural mating

11  Apis mellifera  mellifera – British economical, hard working  ligustica – Italian gentle, large colony  carnica – German economical, gentle, swarmers  caucasia – E European economical, hard working  scutellata – African not gentle, healthy, tropical  Local bees – cross bred - bit of everything  Strains have diverse characteristics but are more predictable than cross bred bees

12  No protective clothing  Bees all over her arms & dress  Pearl necklace!  Why do we not have bees like this anymore?

13  Unpredictable outcomes  Recessive genes  F1 - vigour  F2 etc - ???  Adaptable  Disease tolerance  Natural

14  Instrumental insemination  OK for the dedicated  Learn to produce a lot of queens and drones  Not for the local amateur  Natural mating  Element of chance  Local variation

15  Let the queens mate and start colonies  Move away to permanent sites  Let them build and assess qualities  Select better quality colonies  Keep records!!  Expect to cull queens with poor quality progeny

16  Practice on drones and workers  Never touch her abdomen  Colour code  W,Y,R,G,B  Only mark the thorax  Ensure paint is dry  Carefully replace the queen  Sharp scissors


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