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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default Was this a Virgin or a Layer?

    A queen got thrown out the saloon doors this afternoon. She was still alive, but barely. Not sure if she was an egg layer who took a break or a new swarm cell queen. Can you tell how old they are by looking?

    Close up of carmel-colored queen

    Bees hoisting her off the landing pad

    Note: I installed caged queen 4 days ago so they may have fought. My caged queen is striped and marked.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,498

    Default

    Next time you wonder if the queen was a virgin, or a mated queen...check the spermatheca. Do this by removing the last couple sebments of the queen's abdomen. Squish this against your thumbnail, forcing out the contents. A tiny sphere will appear. Virgin queens have a clear spermatheca, while mated queens have a milky colored one.

    Of course...you have to kill the queen to know for sure. But, since your queen was dead anyway...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corry, Pa.
    Posts
    99

    Default

    Are you sure this was a queen? The picture is not real clear, but to me it looks like a drone being drag out.:confused:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Korny's Korner View Post
    Are you sure this was a queen? The picture is not real clear, but to me it looks like a drone being drag out.:confused:
    Yes. The eyes are small, the abdomen pointed and the color is different; my drones big, black fat boys.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default Photo of Spermatheca

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Next time you wonder if the queen was a virgin, or a mated queen...check the spermatheca.
    Thanks, Michael! I still had the dead queen so I did what you said. She was definitely mated. Here's the picture of the milky, white spermatheca.

    I also noticed a rough place on her thorax (here's the photo), and I wonder if this was my caged queen and the bees tore the paint marking off, leaving the rough place. However, I thought my caged queen was lighter colored with stronger banding and a little smaller than this one. I'll check later today.

    Fascinating!
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    That bald spot is normal on queens.

    http://www.roctronics.com/BEEQUEEN.JPG

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,139

    Default

    Thanks so much for posting the pictures and sharing the discussion. To view and to learn is so wonderful, ty again...

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