Virgin Pime Swarms.
Down in darkest Devon we get many swarms. No surprise there then. My eldest bro, a bee keeper of some 20yrs and also an internationally eminent patent attorney, told me that here, prime swarms frequently have virgins. The old Q may be found still being dutiful in the hive. I now live within 5 miles of said bro and he is right. Any comments?
Stroppy bees keep the ramblers at bay.
That may be the case but around here the big swarms normally have the old queen with them. Normally the smaller ones are cast by virgin queens. But i've seen bees do things against the norm so i'm not going to discount it.
All the things I've read suggest the "prime" swarm, the initial swarm to leave the colony, is always headed by the old, established queen.
In supersedure cases, the new supersedure queen emerges, mates and starts laying in the presence of the old queen. But for the supersedure queen to leave, or swarm out of the hive, would be counterproductive to superseding the old queen.
I cast my opinion to the idea that prime swarms are old queens, and if the swarm queen is a virgin, then it's an "after" swarm.
Virgin Prime Swarms.
Definately Virgin prime swarms. (April / May swarms).
40 yds. from my front door.
My bros observations from his windows are the same.
Last years marked queens.
Stroppy bees give you a sense of achievement.