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john berry

Queen with a freckle

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A few days ago I caught a very large swarm (definitely not from my hives)on one of my willow trees at home. It overfilled two full depth boxes of foundation and as I had reason to believe it was queenless I gave it a frame of brood with eggs from one of my breeders. When I checked it yesterday it was raising a few cells . I was about to put the frame back when I saw a young Queen who looked mated but there was no sign of any eggs. She also had a dark freckle on her abdomen which I'm sure denotes having been stung and often leads to drone layer queens. She might have been all right but given that it was raising cells (of good genetic origin) I made an on the spot decision and dispatched her

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I have not heard of this sort of thing before and have a few questions.

 

What exactly does a freckle on a Queen's abdomen look like?

Why would it possibly lead to her being a drone layer? 

How do you know the bees were raising cells of good genetic disposition?

If it was a new swarm, why would you be looking for eggs so early? (I was told, if I caught a swarm that i should leave it alone for at least a month.)

 

Can you please let us know how this situation goes.

 

Edited by mischief

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Worker bees can have a dot on the abdomen where the foundress varroa made the initial incision and the instar mites fed from the same hole.

 

I have found varroa in queen cells with the larval queen so it does happen, the freckle could be from that.

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10 hours ago, mischief said:

If it was a new swarm, why would you be looking for eggs so early? (I was told, if I caught a swarm that i should leave it alone for at least a month.)

 

2 of the last 3 swarms I have dealt with needed new queens.

One was a bit hairy to retrieve and I suspect I killed her by accident. The other had been sprayed with fly spray and was queenless.

I check them for eggs after about 4 or5 days. Pulling the middle frame, a brief peek then back again if there are eggs.

 

No idea if this is the best way though.

Edited by cBank

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Spot on, good common sense and you are being careful and gathering information rather than "being told what to do".

And then making good decisions.

 

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11 hours ago, mischief said:

I have not heard of this sort of thing before and have a few questions.

 

What exactly does a freckle on a Queen's abdomen look like?

Why would it possibly lead to her being a drone layer? 

How do you know the bees were raising cells of good genetic disposition?

If it was a new swarm, why would you be looking for eggs so early? (I was told, if I caught a swarm that i should leave it alone for at least a month.)

 

Can you please let us know how this situation goes.

 

 

A freckle looks exactly like a freckle a small spot darker than the rest of the abdomen.

John knows the cells being raised have good genetics because he put a frame of eggs and larvae in from one of his breeders.

he didn’t check for eggs to come to the queenless conclusion it would most likely be the bees behaviour that made him suspect they were queenless 

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32 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

A freckle looks exactly like a freckle a small spot darker than the rest of the abdomen.

John knows the cells being raised have good genetics because he put a frame of eggs and larvae in from one of his breeders.

he didn’t check for eggs to come to the queenless conclusion it would most likely be the bees behaviour that made him suspect they were queenless 

I would see those marks occasionally back in my yellow bee days- harder to see with carni's! Called them birthmarks, like John, thought maybe the origins were a sting, or maybe a knock to the cell when being transported.  Would find them laying normally sometimes.

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On 26/01/2019 at 7:28 AM, mischief said:

If it was a new swarm, why would you be looking for eggs so early? (I was told, if I caught a swarm that i should leave it alone for at least a month.)

 

 

If a swarm has a laying queen, she will usually be laying after just a few days (2 - 4) as she comes back into lay and the bees have drawn some comb for her to lay in. If a swarm has a virgin, she will usually be ready to mate after a few more days and then she will start to lay a few days after mating, so if the weather is good and she can get out and mate, I would expect to see eggs in the hive from a young queen a couple of weeks after swarming.

http://www.norfolkbee.co.uk/beekeepers-FAQ/when-will-my-new-queen-start-to-lay

Edited by AdamD
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Okay, so why does having a freckle mean that she may turn out to be a laying worker? I'm not seeing how the two relate.

My new Queen is very dark all over, so I doubt I could see a freckle if I tried. 

I was told to leave the Queen alone- leave her to her attendants or risk damaging her. At my level of inexperience, this still sounds like good advise.

 

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16 minutes ago, mischief said:

Okay, so why does having a freckle mean that she may turn out to be a laying worker?

See O.P........laying worker     .......drone layer.......

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I get identical spots on my fingers when I get stung. I have seen good queens with these spots but I've seen a lot of drone layers with the same thing, enough to convince me that is not a good thing. It's the main reason I always advise that one cell per hive is a lot better than two if you have some leftover as two queens hatching together can lead to no Queen at all.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

See O.P........laying worker     .......drone layer.......

see tired nana just spent a WHOLE week with very active grandson....but yesbut no, good spotting

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11 hours ago, mischief said:

see tired nana just spent a WHOLE week with very active grandson....but yesbut no, good spotting

Just one, I'm into wk three with 4.5, 3, & .9 sheesh

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48 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Just one, I'm into wk three with 4.5, 3, & .9 sheesh

Sounds like it is time you stopped visiting and returned to Nelson.

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1 hour ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Sounds like it is time you stopped visiting and returned to Nelson.

I AM back home !!!!

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2 hours ago, yesbut said:

Just one, I'm into wk three with 4.5, 3, & .9 sheesh

they say it keeps you young,  being around preschoolers.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

I AM back home !!!!

Then it is time you went on another tour.

My door is always open to you.

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Staples must be working....  I had to go for a fish this evening and let all these critters climb on the bus for home.

46F11BD0-C9F9-4F4C-8224-39DBF2ACFDFE.jpeg

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Okay, I'm slow.

Please, why could it mean that a Queen that has been stung-presumably by another Queen(?) mean that it could turn out to be a Drone layer?

Why does being stung lead to this?

I am assuming that it is a bee-sting not a varroa bite.

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6 minutes ago, mischief said:

Okay, I'm slow.

Please, why could it mean that a Queen that has been stung-presumably by another Queen(?) mean that it could turn out to be a Drone layer?

Why does being stung lead to this?

I am assuming that it is a bee-sting not a varroa bite.

Possibly because the injury caused by the sting may have prevented her from flying to mate in a timely manner 

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3 hours ago, mischief said:

Okay, I'm slow.

Please, why could it mean that a Queen that has been stung-presumably by another Queen(?) mean that it could turn out to be a Drone layer?

Why does being stung lead to this?

I am assuming that it is a bee-sting not a varroa bite.

I would suspect it's because the sting causes injury. Whether that affects fertility  or stops her meeting I wouldn't know.

I merely make the observation that queens showinga sting freckle are much more likely to be drone layers than unmarked queens.

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On 26/01/2019 at 1:02 PM, john berry said:

A few days ago I caught a very large swarm (definitely not from my hives)on one of my willow trees at home. It overfilled two full depth boxes of foundation and as I had reason to believe it was queenless I gave it a frame of brood with eggs from one of my breeders. When I checked it yesterday it was raising a few cells . I was about to put the frame back when I saw a young Queen who looked mated but there was no sign of any eggs. She also had a dark freckle on her abdomen which I'm sure denotes having been stung and often leads to drone layer queens. She might have been all right but given that it was raising cells (of good genetic origin) I made an on the spot decision and dispatched her

I’ve seen this, it’s the reason why I don’t like protected cells and I don’t use them in my hives, I think the fighting damages both queens.

 

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