Drone laying Virgin Queens
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  1. #1
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    Default Drone laying Virgin Queens

    How long does it take a virgin queen to start laying if she does not get mated? I know if she doesn't get mated she will be a drone laying queen.
    Beekeeping: "Know the Rules and Learn the Art"

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  3. #2
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: Drone laying Virgin Queens

    Well after some research I found my answer in the book: "Mating Biology of Honey Bees" If a queen does not get matted she will start laying in 35 to 42 days. Of course these will be unfertilized eggs and she will be officially known as a "drone laying queen".
    Beekeeping: "Know the Rules and Learn the Art"

  4. #3
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: Drone laying Virgin Queens

    I have never seen a virgin queen start laying unless she gets mated. If she gets mated late, she will be a drone layer. I've had queens with a crumpled wing who could not mate. They never laid.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Drone laying Virgin Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I have never seen a virgin queen start laying unless she gets mated. If she gets mated late, she will be a drone layer. I've had queens with a crumpled wing who could not mate. They never laid.
    I have a queen that came from my Beeweaver hive. Found her when I did a split to a new hive in April. The original hive still had the marked Beeweaver queen. Split killed the mated queen in the cage I had added and I found a beauty of an unmarked queen in the split, so I left her until the end of April. Saw eggs in the cells mid April, but they are all drones, so I pulled that queen out. I'm assuming she was a late winter supercedure queen that never mated in Feb, since I'm in my hives often to note queen cells.

    If I dissect her and look at the spermatheca, will a drone laying queen, who never mated have a clear one, or does it change to cloudy once they start to lay eggs?

  6. #5
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: Drone laying Virgin Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    I have a queen that came from my Beeweaver hive. Found her when I did a split to a new hive in April. The original hive still had the marked Beeweaver queen. Split killed the mated queen in the cage I had added and I found a beauty of an unmarked queen in the split, so I left her until the end of April. Saw eggs in the cells mid April, but they are all drones, so I pulled that queen out. I'm assuming she was a late winter supercedure queen that never mated in Feb, since I'm in my hives often to note queen cells.

    If I dissect her and look at the spermatheca, will a drone laying queen, who never mated have a clear one, or does it change to cloudy once they start to lay eggs?
    I had a similar queen this spring. I gave her ample time to come around. I finally killed her and extracted the spermatheca. It was crystal clear - just wish I had done it sooner.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Drone laying Virgin Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I have never seen a virgin queen start laying unless she gets mated. If she gets mated late, she will be a drone layer. I've had queens with a crumpled wing who could not mate. They never laid.
    How exactly do you know she was mated? The spermatheca will be clear.

    The hive with the queen I mentioned above was full of drone brood. I never actually watched her lay, but someone was surely laying drones. They treated this queen as though she was mated. Earlier, before I pinched her, I pulled her and placed her in a cage. When I then put the cage back with the bees they responded as though she was a mated queen, by crawling all over the cage and feeding her.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Drone laying Virgin Queens

    The reason I asked the question is I got a package April 5 out of Georgia and in 2 weeks it was obvious that she was only laying unfertilized eggs.
    Beekeeping: "Know the Rules and Learn the Art"

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