Here is a photograph of an open mated Cordovan Italian queen on a small-cell deep frame of brood from a 5-frame nuc:
I admit it, I'm challenged when it comes to finding the queen
You've done it. That's her.
They're quite lovely,
so you did what, got a mated cordovan queen?
is she first generation?
Since I've only recently (past 9 years) kept nothing but local feral survivors, I decided to see how Cordovan Italian's would do in my area (I really love the appearance of these bees).
Earlier this season I obtained 4 pure-bred Cordovan Italian queens and introduced them to nucs. 3 of the 4 succeeded and were then transferred to full-size hives and continue to do quite well.
Even though without Instrumental Insemination (II), around here it would be next to impossible to produce pure Cordovan Italian queens that produce female offspring which display the Cordovan coloration; I can, however, produce drones and queens that display Cordovan coloring. So I decided to use eggs from my pure Cordovan Italian queens to produce a few open mated queens that display the Cordovan trait even though when open mated to local drones their female offspring look nearly identical to my other feral survivor bees, (their drones, of course, display the Cordovan trait 100%). Queens produced from these queens will not exhibit Cordovan coloration, so I will know if they have ever been replaced by the bees and if my pure Cordovan colonies replace their own queens I will know it once her female offspring lose their Cordovan coloration, unless by chance those virgins should mate only with all-Cordovan drones too. If this were to happen, female offspring would show the Cordovan coloration, but inbreeding might then reduce the queens total fertility.
The queen in the photograph is one of several produced by open mating daughter's of one of my pure Cordovan Italian mother queens. They and their drones show Cordovan coloration, but their workers do not.