Re: brushy mountain spring queens
If BM is getting them from a reputable supplier (I think they're using Gardners this year), then they are probably fine.
Most of the time, when I buy spring queens, they arrive looking much like virgins. After a week or so they have filled out nicely. The queen producers often operate on such a tight schedule that as soon as those queens begin laying, they're harvested. Even when I make my own queens, it takes some time after they've been mated before they're visibly larger.
By the way, BM also sells Jennifer Berry's queens on special order (I believe). They are a bit pricey but one of the things she does is leave them in their mating nuc until she's seen a full brood cycle. It improves the liklihood that you'll get a good, productive queen. It also significantly reduces the number of queens she can produce....If you get one of her queens, it'll surely be fully developed.
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson