INTERMEDIATE BEEKEEPING WEEK 1 CAROL COTTRILL

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1 INTERMEDIATE BEEKEEPING WEEK 1 CAROL COTTRILL

2 BEE BIOLOGY WHY IT MATTERS There is a spectrum there are different ways to try to do things. I once thought you could do it all by a cookbook, and now I think if you can learn some of the basic biology, you can be a successful beekeeper trying to do some application. You can be anywhere from highly interventive to an interested observer There are many ways to do things right A beekeeper anticipates rather than reacts to a situation

3 DEVELOPMENT Complete Metamorphosis Egg Larvae Pupa

4 BROOD Eggs hatch in 3 days by dissolving of membrane Diet first 3 days all get same food royal jelly: 60-80% hypopharyngeal gland % mandibular gland Larvae have 4 molts in the first 4 days Nurse bees must consume large amounts of bee bread to secrete material from food glands One nurse bee raises 2-3 larvae One comb has about 1,800 newly hatched larvae so needs 600 nurse bees

5 Need adequate colony numbers to incubate eggs and feed larvae: they are an eating machine (fed times/day) Incubator bees (bees older than ~2 days) press thorax on cappings or in empty cells and produce heat by vibrating thoracic muscles Bees warm cells by sitting on top of cappings and by entering empty cells between sealed brood cells Empty cells on a brood frame are used by heater bees to warm 6 adjacent cells vs. only two from the surface

6 Brood temperature F Eggs and open larvae can tolerate lower temperatures Pupae very sensitive to cooling Prolonged exposure below 90: high incidence of shriveled wings and legs, malformation of abdomen, neural and behavioral insufficiencies, reduced longevity

7 Larvae brood pheromone stimulates foraging especially for pollen and attracts workers Presence of brood is important if using hives for pollination Increases activity of hypopharyngeal glands and induces workers to cap cells Brood transferred to a new hive is accepted possibly because brood pheromone masks colony odor

8 Want to see a brood pattern close in age If eggs/larvae/capped cells intermixed either queen is not laying systematically or brood is not developing normally Could be due to infection, inbreeding (rare), but usually failing queen Brood is capped with wax and propolis, convex capping, brown in color

9 CASTES: Worker Queen Drone

10 Workers Castes Develop in 21 days Live days in summer in spring and fall in winter Entire population turns over every 5 weeks 2 pounds of bees need to be raised weekly

11 After first 3.5 days larvae fed glandular secretions from the hypopharyngeal gland (worker jelly), then honey and pollen (brood food) Brood food has less mandibular gland secretions and is higher in sugar and has less protein than royal jelly Ratio of eggs/open brood/ capped brood Workers take 21 days to develop and stages are

12 Nurse bees consume pollen so they can produce brood food from the hypopharyngeal glands Nurse bees also tend to queen, feed her royal jelly, and spread her pheromones Workers develop wax glands at days old After about 3 weeks food and wax glands atrophy and they become foragers

13 Worker duties related to age, but can revert Example: in late winter before new brood emerges Food and wax glands can be reactivated Young bees can start foraging early if older foragers are lost but this upsets the balance of the work force Flight orientation - hovering near entrance, short flight Foragers make a straight line to entrance

14 Pheromones alarm from sting, alarm from mandibular gland alerts others and attracts stinging, Nasonov attract bees to entrances or water, tarsal attracts workers to the nest or forage

15 Laying workers: not all eggs hatch and drone brood appears scattered and spotty Laying workers think they are queen right so hard to re-queen Combine with strong queen right colony

16 Drones Castes Develop in 24 days, live days in spring and summer - can live 59 days Fed modified worker jelly with more pollen and honey Fed by workers after emergence then beg for food from nurse bees Older adults feed themselves honey

17 Leave the hive 6 days after emerging and fly to DCAs in afternoon as they get older Drones mature at 10 days (minimum) days old better Drone cells normally are 15 20% of the cells in a colony but drones are only raised in 3-5% of them These cells are better for honey storage

18 Diploid drones: when queen has mated with drones she (or her sister queens) produced Need to start rearing drones at least 18 days before starting queens (drones take 24 days - queens 16 days = 8 days longer + 10 days to mature) Need drones in the purple eye stage before starting queen rearing to have them ready for mating

19 Colony investment in drones is minimal and good way to preserve/disseminate genetics (better than swarming) Drone brood usually found along the bottom or sides of the frames, insulating the worker brood and in the area that will be sacrificed if there is cold weather

20 Presence of drone brood in a colony indicates it is in good nutritional shape If bees are removing drone larvae and pupae there is a shortage of food in the hive and the bees are trimming the brood nest By September hives are starting to remove drones

21 Queen Castes Develop in 16 days and live 2-5 years All larvae fed royal jelly from the hypopharyngeal/mandibular glands for 3.5 days Queens continue to get this mixture (about 50/50) Colony must be well fed to raise a good queen

22 Queen cells: emergency due to sudden loss supersedure (respect these cells) swarm Queens lay in queen cups stimulated by abundance of food and brood during swarm season and by decline of egg-laying and pheromones in supersedure Virgins pipe to find other queens and destroy them

23 Mating flight at 6 days old Mating with multiple drones creates hives with multiple patrilines They will vary in their response to pests and pathogens Starts laying eggs ~3 days after mating Offspring from same drones = full sisters; from different drones = half-sisters Mated queen lays unfertilized eggs in drone cells; failing queen lays them in worker cells

24 Queen Pheromones: Mandibular glands (queen substance) inhibits ovary development in workers, deters making a new queen, attracts drones on mating flights Also has foot print and abdominal tergite pheromones spread as queen walks on comb Dufour gland marks eggs (queen vs. worker)

25 Decreased queen pheromone perceived if queen is in decline or absent or colony so large pheromone doesn t reach all (swarming) Colony knows queen is gone within 24 hours Queen pheromone must be contacted not just scented (this is why a division screen works) Done by food transmission

26 Annual requeening what queen problems are you having? Replace queens that are drone layers, have poor populations, are disease prone, have poor brood patterns, are damaged or defensive, poor wintering, swarming, to diversify queen stock Can requeen late summer after mite treatment to produce winter bees

27 Easier to replace queens in the spring and have time to replace if there is a problem During a honey flow is the best time to requeen Using queen cells from hives that swarm may promote swarming (there is a genetic component)

28 Hold open: when waiting for queen to lay or for a virgin to be mated Carniolan queens shut down during dearth Possibly queenless hive add a frame of eggs/open larvae Queenless colonies are noisier Some miticides decrease sperm viability in queens

29 NUTRITION/FEEDING Feeding on pollen activates hypopharyngeal glands that secrete brood food When collected pollen is mixed with small amount of liquid from honey stomach to make it sticky In the hive pollen pellets are mixed with bacteria & enzymes and pressed into cells When fermented = bee bread Higher nutritional value than pollen, but declines when stored

30 Bee bread is capped with thin layer of honey in the fall for winter use Pollen is stored close to the brood nest if feeding pollen place close to brood area Raising 2 pounds of bees per week requires about 2 pounds of pollen Bees need pollen or a mixture of pollens that is at least 20% protein and contains 10 amino acids

31 Dandelions lack arginine and are lower in protein Apple, pussy willows, white and sweet clovers are better A colony requires 50# of pollen and 100# of honey to survive one year

32 Increased consumption of stored honey and pollen in the spring with onset of brood rearing: Needed for feeding brood, production of heat Feeding during periods of bad weather in the spring allows bees to feed/raise brood when they can t forage Drought means little forage and poor nutrition Poor nutrition and mites can lead to winter losses Average winter losses = 30%

33 Feeding: to stimulate brood rearing when no honey or pollen is available when no stores are available starving to provide medication when installing a package or swarm 1 gallon of 2:1 syrup increases food reserves about 7#

34 HMF hydroxymethylfurfural caused by heating corn syrup, sugar syrup or honey Colony will use food transmission until all food is gone and then die together not over time

35 FoxRunFarmHoney.com

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