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Bee Math/Queen Spotting. Presentations online Before you take copious notes, all these presentations are online here:

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Presentation on theme: "Bee Math/Queen Spotting. Presentations online Before you take copious notes, all these presentations are online here:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Bee Math/Queen Spotting

2 Presentations online Before you take copious notes, all these presentations are online here:

3 Bee Math All of the numbers about the life cycle of bees may seem irrelevant, so let's put them in a chart here and talk about what they are useful for.

4 Lifecycle chart Caste Hatch Cap Emerge Queen 3½ days 8 days days +-1 Laying 28 days +-5 Worker 3½ days 9 days days +-1 Foraging 42 days +-7 Drone 3½ days 10 days days +-1 Flying to DCA 38 days +-5

5 What does it mean? If you find eggs, and no queen how long ago do you KNOW there was a queen?

6 What does it mean? If you find eggs, and no queen how long ago do you KNOW there was a queen? At least there was one three days ago and likely is one now.

7 What does it mean? If you find just hatched larvae and open brood but no eggs when was there a queen?

8 What does it mean? If you find just hatched larvae and open brood but no eggs when was there a queen? Four days ago

9 What does it mean? If you put an excluder between two boxes and come back in four days and find eggs in one and not the other, what do you know?

10 What does it mean? If you put an excluder between two boxes and come back in four days and find eggs in one and not the other, what do you know? That the queen is in the one with eggs.

11 What does it mean? If you find a capped queen cell, how long before it should have emerged for sure?

12 What does it mean? If you find a capped queen cell, how long before it should have emerged for sure? Nine days, but probably eight.

13 What does it mean? If you find a capped queen cell, how long before you should see eggs from that queen?

14 What does it mean? If you find a capped queen cell, how long before you should see eggs from that queen? 20 days.

15 What does it mean? If you killed or lost a queen, how long before you'll have a laying queen again?

16 What does it mean? If you killed or lost a queen, how long before you'll have a laying queen again? 24 days

17 What does it mean? If you killed or lost a queen, how long before you'll have a laying queen again? 24 days. Why?

18 What does it mean? If you killed or lost a queen, how long before you'll have a laying queen again? 24 days. Why? Because the bees will start from a just hatched larvae (four days old).

19 What does it mean? If you start from larvae and graft, how long before you need to transfer the larvae to a mating nuc?

20 What does it mean? If you start from larvae and graft, how long before you need to transfer the larvae to a mating nuc? 10 days. (day 14 from the egg)

21 What does it mean? If you confine the queen to get the larvae how long before you graft?

22 What does it mean? If you confine the queen to get the larvae how long before you graft? Four days because some won't have hatched at the beginning for day three.

23 What does it mean? If a queen is killed and the bees raise a new one how much brood will be left in the hive just before the new queen starts to lay?

24 What does it mean? If a queen is killed and the bees raise a new one how much brood will be left in the hive just before the new queen starts to lay? None. It will take 24 or 25 days for the new queen (raised from a four day old) to be laying and in 21 days all the workers will have emerged and in 24 days all the drones will have emerged.

25 What does it mean? If the queens starts laying today how long before that brood will be foraging for honey?

26 What does it mean? If the queens starts laying today how long before that brood will be foraging for honey? 42 days.

27 What does it mean? You can see how knowing how long things take helps you predict where things are going or where things have been. 42 days.

28 Queen Spotting First decide, do You Really Need to Find Her? Even if you are good, finding queens is time consuming.

29 Queen Spotting Use Minimal Smoke –First, don't smoke them very much, if at all, or the queen will run and there is no telling where she will be.

30 Queen Spotting Look for the Most Bees –The queen is usually on the frame of the brood chamber that has the most bees. This isn't always true, but if you start on that frame and work your way from there you will find her either on that frame or the next 90% of the time.

31 Queen Spotting Calm Bees –The bees are calmer near the queen.

32 Queen Spotting Larger and Longer –Of course the obvious thing is that the queen is larger, and especially that her abdomen is longer, but that isn't always easy to see when there are bees climbing all over her. Look for the larger "shoulders" The width of her back, that little bare patch on the thorax. These are all larger and often you get a peek at them under the other bees. Also the longer abdomen sticking out sometimes when you can't see the rest of her.

33 Queen Spotting Don't count on her being marked –Don't count on your marked queen still being there and being marked. Remember they may have swarmed and you didn't catch it or they may have superseded and she may be gone.

34 Queen Spotting Bees around the queen act differently –Look at how the bees act around the queen. Often there are several, not all, but several bees facing her. The bees around the queen act different. If you watch them every time you find a queen you'll start noticing how they act, and how they move different around her.

35 Queen Spotting The Queen Moves Differently –Other bees are either moving quickly or just hanging and not moving. The workers move like they're listening to Aerosmith. The queen moves like she's listening to Schubert or Brahms. She moves slowly and gracefully. It's like she's waltzing and the workers are doing the bossanova. Next time you spot the queen notice how the bees in general move, how the bees around her move and how she moves.

36 Queen Spotting Different Coloring –Usually the queen is slightly different color. I have not found this helpful because she's also usually close enough in color that she's still hard to spot by this.

37 Queen Spotting Believe There is a Queen –Mental attitude makes a difference when trying to find anything from your car keys to hunting deer to finding a queen. As long as you are thinking it won't be there you won't find it. You have to believe that the keys, or the deer or the queen is there. That you are looking right at it and you just have to see it. And then suddenly you do.

38 Can you spot the queen?

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41 More Info There is more information on all of these and many other topics on my web site at If you dont find the subject on the main menu, try Queen Spotting or Beekeeping Math.

42 Contact Michael Bush bees at bushfarms dot com Book: The Practical Beekeeper


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