Sometimes obvious things.
Just how it is....
Unsure - you are talking of an individual colony size OR yard size? OR both?
The nuc size maybe matters - this is just what the guys found in that particular trial.
I don't know.
Maybe someone has some complementing #s.
I never heard of such trials before.
As far as the size of the yard?
I don't know.
But the logic suggests - the more confusing hives are standing around - the higher are the chances the mating queen entering a wrong hive (and being killed).
Somehow I think, the issue is less about the dragonflies and more about the queens returning into wrong hives.
At least this is a part of the issue.
Last year I never had more than three (3) mating units in a single yard. Very good mating #s.
This year I have up to five (5) mating units in a single yard - all in distinctly spaced nuc hives.
Will see what goes.
As far as this mating business goes - I much prefer Mel D.'s approach - I just make up few starts, give the QCs, and let them handle the queen mating.
I need a # of viable starts for the next year (that include the queens with them) and that what matters, NOT just # of mated queens in particular (a queen without a good supporting colony is useless to me).
This approach makes sense to me as a homesteader-beek.
And also, again, high % of mating to me is much more important than savings in bee counts needed to run a mating unit (this could be more important to a queen seller - however).
High % of mating means I don't have many wasted summer start-up units as far as season progresses - that is more important in my program.