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Thread: Huge Queen

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I purchased several Russian queens from Walter T. Kelly and I introduced them to sevarl splits. Most of those Russians, and the queens in package bees that I purchase, both Carnolians and Italians, and the feral bees, have been happy to lay in 4.95mm cells on my wax coated PermaComb. However, I inspected one split today and saw no brood at all. After examining the queen I found her to be huge. By huge I mean her abdomen is about 5/16" in diameter. This is about 6.4mm! In the other hives the queens seem to PREFER the smaller cell to lay in. This one can't lay in it. Has anyone else seen a queen this large? She must be more than 1 1/4" long.

    Since all of my hives are on small cell, I don't really have a use for her, but I am astounded by her size.

    Any suggestions as to what to do with her? Otherwise, I guess I'll squish her and requeen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Hi Micheal,

    I had such a queen caught in swam bait hive 2 years ago from neighbors yards. I was astounded by her size. As no such sized queens have been in my possesion before as my cell sizing before converting to 4.9 was aprox. 5.2. This queen landed into 5.2 combs. I let the colony build up a good population into a single deep (don't bother adding 4.9 at this time as they just butcher it as bad as can be). Once 5.2 brood emerged I squashed her and let the bees replace her and the new queen has sized down to a more natural size (in my POV). So you could put this queen onto 5.1 to 5.2 cells and do the same. Snuff and let the bees replace. I went through all that Micheal and the bees just never drew 4.9 properly. Was one of those colonies that just couldn't do it. It died out that winter (it was a mild one too). If it were me I'd try to get whatever possible to make the cut who knows........but if you are strapped for time then maybe better off being done with her. I guess the choice is yours.

    Clay

  3. #3
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    I'll probably replace her now. I've got all the rest on the 4.95mm wax coated permacomb and they are all doing very well and the queens not only accept it but seem to prefer it. I was curious if anyone else had seen anything like her.

  4. #4
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    I started a dispsol for old queens. I put her in a jar of alchohol and I'll keep adding any culls and replacements to make swarm pheromone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Good idea!

  6. #6
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    It was Dee's idea (or at least she shared the idea), but I liked it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Huge Queen

    Been thinking about this, very occasionally I've had a queen that, I believe, is egg bound, ie won't lay and swollen abdomen. One of them happened after I injured her. I'm wondering if this was the case rather than her not laying because it was small cell. Would have been interesting to have put her on large cell and see if she still didn't lay.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Huge Queen

    > very occasionally I've had a queen that, I believe, is egg bound, ie won't lay and swollen abdomen. One of them happened after I injured her. I'm wondering if this was the case rather than her not laying because it was small cell

    Maybe.

    > Would have been interesting to have put her on large cell and see if she still didn't lay.

    It would have made an interesting experiment.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
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    398

    Default Re: Huge Queen

    Wow, nearly 10 year old thread dredge.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,017

    Default Re: Huge Queen

    Yes had a wander through a bunch of old threads, very interesting. Bees don't change but people do.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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