Does the queen grow in size with age?
How much stress can she take?
I was preparing to dump out my laying worker hive, but noticed a queen-looking bee under the hive. She was *smaller* than the other queens I've seen, but she has the long pointy butt, the larger, more spread legs, and didn't sting very well.
She spent the night pretty much by herself, and it got down to about 50F.
I kept her aside, thinking maybe that it was a laying worker. Going through the hive, there was what looked like capped worker brood. I didn't expect that! The pattern isn't great, but the brood only looks about 10-11 days(just pupating).
Well, I wanted to mark the queen, but not knowing how to hold her and being sting-shy couldn't quite do it. She did stick out her stinger, but didn't get me. I didn't handle her all that gently, and she flew around a bit(mostly down, she couldn't fly up very well)
When I put her back, I let a couple of bees go in the jar with her, and they immediately started feeding her and grooming her. That was neat.
They must have taken one of the queen cell after all that I gave them. WHen checking the cells after they should have hatched, both the cells had big holes in the sides, so I assumed they were destroyed.
Maybe they made their own cell from some larvae on the frames with the cells?
Anyway, it sounds like a queen to me.
A newly emerged queen is much smaller than a laying queen. A queen that has just started laying is much smaller than one that has been laying a while. But then they stop growing and don't slim down except to swarm.