Topics like the thread "Outbreeding Mites" and articles from W. Wright often get me thinking on an age-old question: who is running the show in the beehive? I Phrases like: "the queen slows down", "the queen speeds up", "the queen ran out of room," etc. fill the discussions by beekeepers. In particular, the thread "Outbreeding Mites" (http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=222285) refers to one difference between spring-reared and fall-reared queens as the former will slow down in the fall while the later will not.
If the traditional view that hive authority lies with the queen is true, then I can accept the arguement for productive fall-reared queens as having validity. However, if, as I gather some are suggesting in non-traditional circles, that the workers control the queen's ability to lay by "backfilling the broodnest" (argued by W. Wright) and other power-play methods, then we'll have to take a different look at beekeeping strategies.
In addition to W. Wright's observations that the workers will "backfill" the broodnest with nectar to prohibit the queen from laying, I've wondered if the workers might also control her egg production by eating eggs that she's lain. An observation hive would be handy. Two hives established on equal terms would be handy, one with a spring-queen and one with a fall-queen. but then again, perhaps there has already be experiments on the issue of who determines how much brood is reared under normal conditions.