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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rocky Face, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Does size matter?

    I made up a late season nuc to hoping they would produce a queen. Until yesterday I thought it didn't work. Well, I now have 4 queens, 2 purchased, 2 produced. The latest is, by far, the largest. Based on my estimation (amatuer) of larva, she's been laying for at least 7 days.

    I know that color doesn't mean much, but her mother was dark, she's golden. So my question is size. Is that a criteria that matters?. Reliably?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Default

    The size of a given queen changes much during her life. When she's a virgin she's a little thing not much bigger than a worker. Then she mates and fattens up sometimes to twice the length and width she was. Then when they get in a dearth and stop feeding her she shrinks again. If she's banked she shrinks. It's hard to say, but all things being equal, a big queen seems to make a good long lasting queen. But things are seldom equal.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    ...When she's a virgin she's a little thing not much bigger than a worker. Then she mates and fattens up sometimes to twice the length and width she was.
    There are at least half a dozen jokes and some very true stories that could be made from that statement, but I won't go there.

    I have also wondered about a queen's size at a young age. I've seen some new in cages that were dainty and some rather large, but never thought to note that in records. I think I'll add another column or two in the worksheet and see what gives over time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Default

    Eventually, I think it will but there are so many other considerations that need to bee classified that right now the answer is "No, size doesn't matter".

    Or at least that's what y'all white boys keep telling me.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    well robert the only real criterion 'should be'... is she pretty? so there is another column for your record books swobee.

    larger queens were always 'assumed' to have greater laying capacity which I think??? was related to the number of tubules she has functioning. both of which are hightly correlated to the age of the larvae when the girls decide she will be a queen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    The initial weight of the ovaries can be indicative of the number of eggs the queens is capable of producing. The larger the ovaries the greater the number of eggs in them.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Default

    What JBJ said is true but I would add that this only relates to weight in the newly emerged virgin, so what MB stated is equally correct.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,069

    Default

    I think some of it is genetics.... I've produced some very plump, large queens from a certain breeder queen. Yet in the same finishing colony at the same time queens from a different breeder were maybe the same length but slimmer. They both resembled their respective breeder mothers in size and appearance. They also both laid prolifically. It difficult to judge a queen by her appearance. The proof is in the pudding so to speak.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    Agreed, but starting with the plumpest ovaries possible with whatever genetics you are using will give the queen advantages and economic value. Remember poorly reared queens from the best stock are always inferior to supremely reared queens from average stock.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    enterprise, florida
    Posts
    116

    Default

    I believe it is said that size does count

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