virgin queen "practice laying" ?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    652

    Default virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    I did a split and found a very small queen in the old hive that was left to make their new queen. Really small like i'd imagine a virgin would look like but was at least going through the act of laying in cells. The light was horrible so i couldn't see if there were actual eggs or not but was wondering if this was a known behavior or if she is just really small.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    Intercaste queen?
    Somebody forgot to give my bees a copy of the book.
    Zone 6B

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    Could be.. maybe i shouldn't risk it and throw in another frame of eggs from my other hive and have them try again.

    If she was running around with a few queen cells capped would that an indication

    can either do that tomorrow or come back in a week and see how the frames look

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    I hived a small cast swarm with a virgin queen at 9 am last Saturday (collected them the night before in the dark.) There was defintely a small-sized queen there. So small that I didn't identify her at first as a queen. The shape was right but she was maybe only 10% longer than a worker. I wish I had taken a picture of her.

    Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were textbook-perfect queen mating weather days and I have a lot of drones in my nearby yard. (Swarm is still in a holding area separate from my main apiary.)

    Late this afternoon I checked and there she was, now a full-sized, fat queen, who has been busy laying eggs all over the drawn frame I gave them that had some open nectar and pollen as a first day's snack. And her workers are pulling comb on the adjacent undrawn frames. They are definitely her eggs since I didn't give them any brood from another hive as she seemed to be settling in nicely.The eggs were perfectly placed, single eggs at the back of the cells.

    So she went out, got mated and got down to business between Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon. (Of course since she was a cast swarm queen, she had already passed through the wing-hardening period after hatching.) But otherwise it's obvious that just four days will do it.

    Next up: OAV before those cells are capped since the swarm came from an unknown source.

    Enj.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    Hoping that is what happens. I'll be gone for the week but will check in on them when i get back. Nice thing about having other hives is the ability to re-try if this one isn't working out. (I did try to take pictures but she was speedy and everything was either blurry or hidden by other bees)

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default Re: virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    Hard to tell, try to snap a pick. Virgins are short in the tail.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    that is what i was thinking.. then i was looking and she was acting like she was laying.. maybe they go through the motions even though they aren't mated yet.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: virgin queen "practice laying" ?

    update: came back from over a week away and checked them out today. no signs of brood. couldn't find the small queen i saw last time. either she got lost on a mating flight or whatever. but i went full bore this time and took the queen from a swarm i caught and did Mike palmer's queenless test with her in the queen catcher.. they were not aggressive.. could easily swipe them away. decided to be brave and let her go on a frame and see how things go.

    hoping this one sticks because she is pretty

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